Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Does anyone else get Rachael Ray's magazine? Because I made her "Nacho Spuds" last night (from the insert in the middle) and they were FAB-U-LOUS!!! SO easy, and wicked good. In fact, I just had some more about half an hour ago when I got home from work, and I dare say they're better a day later. In my world, you just can't go wrong with Mexican.
First of all, I just want to thank all of you who either wrote here or told me in person that you were praying for me. I had two serious issues last week, one medical and one private, that were just weighing so heavily on my heart. Praise God, the doctor thinks I am fine medically and does want me to have one more test, but everything looks okay. The other issue is still pretty serious but I am slowly working through it. Things always seem so much darker when they first occur, you know? I have talked to people about it and while the situation is not resolved, my will to work it out is a lot stronger.

God is so clever, though, isn't He? It's as if He was saying, "Jess, seriously, you need to be closer to me than you are right now. So, __________ is going to happen, and then you will cling to me. Not my fault you're an idiot!" hahaha His thoughts are not mine, that's for sure.

In other news, sometimes the only cure for a depressed girl is to go SHOPPING! Right?! Understand, I can't even tell you the last time I went shopping for myself (and no, CVS doesn't count!) So that's what I did yesterday. Now, understand that when I say shopping, I spent about $90 or less. I got about 31 various items, including household items, jewelry, and clothes. AND I DIDN'T SPEND MORE THAN 9.00 ON ANY ONE THING! Isn't that marvelous?! I hit up Old Navy and got some AMAZING deals, then I went to Goodwill, Target, and CVS. Some of my favorite finds?
.89 jewelry at Old Navy (p.s. I always fill out those ON online surveys that come with your receipt sometimes, and they give you 10% off your whole purchase for doing it - attach it to 75% off sales, and you've got it made)
a fabulous ON black blazer (perfect for work!) for $8.54
adorable pink polka-dotted pj pants for $9.01 (okay, a penny over $9 :)
a big plastic football bowl at Target for $1 - perfect for the Superbowl
2 red and 2 clear glass heart candle holders from Target (love it for Valentine's Day!) - $2 for all four

It's a good day when you can go on a spree and get tons of stuff for very little. Ahhh, retail therapy.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I need prayer, please. I know some of you don't know me personally, but this week I have had to confront two different serious issues that I can't discuss here. Those who are Christians, I ask that you pray for me and that I will have the strength and the wisdom to know how to deal with them. Thank you.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I heart Jon and Kate + 8, Project Runway, and Flip That House.

I heart getting hired as a substitute, even though I still have to get a drug test and a physical (Hallelujah Chorus now resounding in my head!)

I also heart Rachael Ray's "Janet's Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake*", which I made today. Yum-o!

Ahhhhh.....love all around.

The end.

*Everyday with Rachael Ray, May 2007, page 105

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Today at work a girl came in with her parents and sat down. She looked to be about my age, and she also appeared to have Down Syndrome or some other mental disability. The thing that got me about this girl is that she was wearing a headband. This wasn't just any headband, though - this baby had sparkly Minnie Mouse ears and a veil coming down the back. Basically, it looked like what they'd give a bride who was celebrating her honeymoon at Disney World. Otherwise, this girl had normal clothes on. She just sat there, the whole time, quietly eating dinner with her parents.

I don't know why exactly, but that just warmed my heart today. I'm guessing she loves that headband, and asked to wear it out, and her parents simply couldn't refuse. To see her, so content with herself, her headband, her veil, and her shrimp....well, it did my heart good.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Last night I had a little dinner party. It was just us and Chris's parents, but we had such a great time! Let me tell you, a large part of me was just excited to be able to use my napkin rings from Gabe's (a great little store they had in West Virginia and I've never seen anywhere else) for the first time!

The menu:
3-cheese pepper/onion/chicken bowtie bake (haha - my mom's delicious recipe!)
garlic bread
garden salad
oatmeal cake with cocount-brown sugar icing for dessert (courtesy of Mary - my father in law loves this cake, and I happened to have made it the weekend I got engaged - this cake is
gooood! :)

I didn't think to take any pictures last night, but here's one picture of the cake - delish!

Our apartment is so tiny, and my poor father-in-law had to be squeezed into the corner and couldn't really get out unless we moved the whole table! But we had such a good time, and I'm glad I didn't let the tightness of the space hold me back from having them over - Sandy at 4 Reluctant Entertainers would be so proud of me!

I am so thankful for good food, good times, and wonderful in-laws that love us and the Lord.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I have been in a cooking slump lately. Maybe it is because my Rachael Ray subscription ran out in August, and my new subscription (a full year this time!) hasn't arrived in my mailbox yet. Actually, I think it's because I'm just plain tired and famished when I come home from work and the thought of standing on my feet for another hour just doesn't appeal to me. I cooked every night last year - and we're talkin' lip smackin' good dinners, with sides. Oh dear. I love cooking, and I love my husband. I really do try....I've just been brain-dead when it comes to new recipes lately.

I did try virgin beer-battered fish the other night. And by virgin, I mean that we don't drink beer (aka-pee-in-a-bottle - yuck!), so we didn't have any beer, so I researched on the internet for half an hour for substitutes for beer (and club soda is apparently the only thing remotely close), so I asked my poor, poor husband to go to out twice to the store, and so the recipe eventually ended up becoming fried fish with club soda instead. It didn't turn out too bad, if I do say so myself. Of course, anything smothered in tarter sauce can't taste too awful anyway, right? Yummmmmm.

Tonight I think I'm going to make burgers with carmelized onions and Rachael Ray's "Oven Steak Fries" (30-Minute Meals 2; page 201). Monday my in-laws are coming over and I'm making my mom's awesome 3-cheese and 3-pepper chicken and bow-tie casserole with salad. Does anyone have any quick week-night meals that work for them? Please share them with a desperate housewife. ;)
Enter my life:

The scene opens onto a tiny, cute little living room. It is 9:00 on a Tuesday night. DH is watching some kind of sporting event. Wife is meticulously placing pharmacy/household goods into a stackable position on the floor.

DH glances over at wife, face puzzled: "What in the world are you doing?"

Wife does not look up from her task: "Organizing my purchases for my CVS photo."

DH, still completely confused: "What?"

Wife: "I always post what I get at CVS, because people like to see what other people can get for so cheap."

Incredulous DH: "You're kidding."

Wife: "Nope."

DH: "You don't take a photo of your receipt and put it on the internet, too, do you?"

Wife laughs and shakes her head at what her darling husband can never understand........

4 Reese's Whipps
Excedrin Migraine
Colgate toothpaste
2 bags of trash bags
2 boxes of storage bags
2 bottles of dish detergent
2 boxes of 100-cal Reese snackers
4 Christmas plates (.09 each!)
Bag of Christmas bows (.49)
Christmas tree skirt (.49)

Plus DH was with me and he purchased beef jerky, a map of our area, and some candy.

We paid 19.81 oop, using $5/30, a $4/20, and a $3/15, plus lots of manufacturers's coupons. Subtracting what DH bought, I actually paid $8.81 (although the cashier rang in a mysterious $4 item that I did not pay for and didn't realize until I got home - tragedy!). So technically, I paid $4.81 for the above things and got $10 ECB back for them.

The end. :)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

I have to go to work tonight for a 9:00 mandatory meeting that was announced on Monday.

I get to drive over half an hour each way for a half hour meeting that I will get paid about $3.60 for.


Subbing canNOT happen fast enough.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy New Year!

Warning: Completely random post....

We have been so busy recently! We had Chris's (immediate) family's Christmas on the 21st, his extended family Christmas on the 22nd, I directed and wrote a teen play and conducted teen girls in a musical number on the 23rd, we drove to Connecticut and had my family's Christmas (extended then immediate) from the 24th-26th, and then we traveled to Indianapolis from the 27th to the 30th for Mark and Kari's wedding. hahaha....I am just glad to be home. As much as I love people, I don't like constantly living out of suitcase or always being on the run like that. I swear, Chris and I must have spent literally months of our lives driving in the car over the past few years. At least, I feel like it. Well, it was definitely worth it to see family and friends.
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In other news, my PA certification finally came, the day after Christmas! Hooray! I had to work all this week, but Monday I am going to drive a few school boards before I teach lessons to drop off a copy of my cert. Hopefully I'll be subbing within two weeks! I am DYING to be back in classrooms!

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Last year, I kept our Christmas decorations up for a while, but this year, we are so squeezed for space that I took most of them down last night. It is SO tedious to have to take down Christmas ornaments and wrap them, isn't it? Thankfully, I had Friends to keep me company last night. Chandler makes me laugh, without fail, without question.

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I am so happy it's Friday -waitressing all week wears me out! Although, I am picking up a shift for a girl at work tomorrow night. The restaurant has slowed down a ton since Christmas is over and I need a little cash-o-la (as my mom would say). I tried to make a 3-bean 15-minute chili tonight, but I have to say, it didn't turn out that great. It's so disappointing when you spend the time and food to make something and it's just gross, isn't it? Anyway, we still had homemade bacon and onion pizza tonight. I taught my husband to make it, and I have to say, it wasn't half bad.
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Chris and I are totally addicted to house shows - "Flip that House", "Property Virgins", "Property Ladder", and the list goes on. It is truly amazing to see how stupid people are with major financial decisions. :)

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Okay, really, really random: if anyone shops regularly at Aldi, you HAVE to try their "Southwestern Salsa" - you can find it on the side with cheese and meats. It is, bar none, the best salsa I have ever had! Whenever we buy it, I inhale it. Which is why there is a half-full jar of salsa in my fridge tonight that has only been open for about, oh, 25 hours. :)

Have a lovely weekend!