Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Recipe: Bonita Burgers

This is the ultimate quick and easy, no-frills dinner.  (and yes, if you're from my hometown, the recipe originates with *that* Bonita)

Bonita Burgers
1 lb ground beef
1 can minestrone soup
sliced cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350.  Brown the ground beef and drain fat.  Add can (undiluted) minestrone soup and heat through.

Spoon mixture on to buns and top with cheese.  Wrap burger in foil and place in oven for 3-5 minutes or until cheese melts. 

Soup-er good!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Scenes From a Thanksgiving

These really aren't the best pictures, but I was too busy with living life to take many/good pictures.  We had 6 houseguests from Wednesday until Friday and had an absolute blast having all 9 of us under the same roof. 

The night before Thanksgiving, Jenna and Grandma Anna chopping celery for dressing.


One of our tables...

 Playing a game...

Anna and my Grandma Carol

Hostess with the mostess, baby!  Why yes, my apron does say, "Domestic Diva".  Thanks Courtney!

My mom with Jacob, Jenna, and Brett. 

We also had Jacob's birthday with his grandparents.  He had Lightning McQueen plates and favors!

Mmm... birthday cake!

Grandma and Grandpa J got him a Lightning McQueen car!

Uncle Garret, Aunt Rachael, Jenna and Brett got him a truck that makes lots of fun sounds!

Morning after Thanksgiving... all the grandkids (and Jacob's dolphin) in pj's, watching a video on Grandpa's iPad.

Jacob and Brett.  I overheard my dad tell Jacob, "You follow this guy around, and you'll grow up just fine." 

I was especially thankful this year for my fantastic niece and nephew whose manners and sense of humor really shined.  They were incredibly polite, kept Jacob entertained, and rolled with the punches.  It's not always easy to sleep on the floor in a different house and have an entirely different routine for a few days, but they handled it without any problems.  

I often remember that hot August day when I first met those two little people who stole my heart immediately and think how incredibly grateful I am to watch them grow.  That thought kept running through my mind again and again this Thanksgiving. 
So blessed.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Catch Up

I didn't mean to disappear for so long! 

Let's catch up, shall we?
  • On Saturday, my parents came over to watch Jacob, and Frank and I went out for sushi with some friends.  Can you believe I've NEVER eaten sushi?  I spent the week before asking people what they should I should try, and I ended up splitting 3 different rolls with the other couple. I liked everything! Now I feel slightly dorky for not trying it sooner.

  • Confession:  I have never done a hardcore cleaning of our basement floor, and it has been getting on my nerves.  It's dusty, and the cat litter is down there, so there's dust from the cat litter and it's just gross.  So on Sunday, I bought a cheap mop and spent the better part of the afternoon mopping the floor.  Even thought it's a grey concrete floor, you can definitely tell a difference.

  • We are getting excited for Thanksgiving!  Frank's parents and brother and sister-in-law and their family will be staying with us, and for dinner, we'll also have my parents, grandma, Frank's aunt, and my former co-worker.  I started my Thanksgiving prep with the most important part of the day... the table setting!  (I am my mother's daughter.)   I found some super-cool fabric for a table runner, but because I don't really sew, tried hemming the rough edge with Stitch Witchery.  Big fail.  It didn't bond at ALL.  I tucked the edge under and ironed it into a crease as I would have done if I had sewn it, and I think that's as good as it's going to get.

  • This year, I'm going to try brining my turkey.  I'm trying the Pioneer Woman's brining recipe which looks delish. 

    Hope everyone is having a good Thanksgiving week!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

20 Adult Truths

20 Adult Truths
  1. Sometimes I’ll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.
  2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.
  3. I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.
  4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.
  5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
  6. Was learning cursive really necessary?
  7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I’m pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
  8. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind-of tired.
  9. Bad decisions make good stories.
  10. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren’t going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.
  11. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don’t want to have to restart my collection…again.
  12. I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.
  13. I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
  14. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
  15. I disagree with Kay Jewelers; I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Light than Kay.
  16. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
  17. How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear or understand a word they said?
  18. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!
  19. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.
  20. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey – but I’d bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.
List via

Monday, November 14, 2011


What do we do on Sunday afternoons?  Naps (Jacob) and football (Frank)! 

Yesterday, they multi-tasked and Jacob napped on Frank while Frank watched the game.  Too cute! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pinable Me: Dream Kitchens

So... want to see my dream kitchens?

I likI
Source: via Lori on Pinterest

Source: via Lori on Pinterest

Things I've learned: 
  • I like white cabinets
  • I like dark floors
  • I like interesting/glamorous lighting
  • I need rugs in my kitchen
  • I like stainless appliances (this actually surprises me)
  • I like white/light subway tile backsplashes
  • I like very clean lines in a kitchen; almost sparse in decor.
Thanks to Mr. FJ, my current kitchen is quite similar to my dream kitchens (bless his heart). But a girl needs to have goals.

And I have two goals in mind for the immediate (probably 2-3 year) future: 
  • Adding a backsplash to the kitchen.  Not sure why the previous owners never did this, but they didn't.  We will.
  • Changing the countertops.  Currently, they are a grey-blue.  I actually like the color, but I know not everyone would.  I would like to change to something more neutral; maybe a grey, brown, black.  I'm not neurotic about granite like some people on HGTV.  Quartz, soapstone, and concrete are all materials we like and would consider.   We'll definitely talk to our dads and Grandpa Red before making the decision, though, since they have built/remodeled other houses, and we trust their opinions.
After I change the countertops, I'll be able to change the curtains, and that will be a HUGE change.  Again, this probably won't be until I go back to work full time, but I think it's important to have a plan. 

I'm open to entertaining any thoughts/comments/sugguestion, especially at this point...

  • .

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bubble Boy

Between Jacob's illness and the windy/cold/rainy weather, we haven't done much the last several days, and both of us are feeling the effects of cabin fever.

This morning, I thought we would mall-walk, but I decided against taking him out in the 300 mph winds (our neighbor's fence blew over this morning!).  So, we did the next best thing--- blew bubbles in the sink, of course!

I don't know why I think these activities are a good idea.  I am way too neurotic to handle soapy bubbles all over my kitchen. 

Can you tell his pants started to get wet by this point?  I put a dishtowel over him...

But then I added to the trouble by blowing bubbles at him. 

What a good example I am.

As he fished in the sink for more bubbles

the mess got out of control!!

He was a happy, wet, little dude, and I had to completely change his clothes and wipe down the kitchen after this brilliant idea.

Only 7 more hours until daddy's home........

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Like a Cat in A Car

When I was younger, my brother and I were playing the garage and decided to put our cat in the car with us.  I think we were pretending to go on a trip and wanted the cat to come along.  As soon as we shut the door, the cat went nuts, bouncing off the windows and howling.  We opened the door and the cat flew out.  To this day, both of us remember it very clearly, and whenever anyone uses the expression, "like a caged animal," I always think of that scene. 

Cut to yesterday, trying to give Jacob a breathing treatment.  Poor dude was sick, and here I was putting a loud, scary mask on his face.  He reminded me of my cat trying to get out of the car. 

Frank and I tag-teamed him for his noon and evening treatments.  Nothing says true love like four hands holding a screaming, flailing toddler who is trying his best to get away from you while your wife sings a very pained rendition of Jesus Loves Me above the whir of a nebulizer. 

Fortunately, our experience today has been much calmer, and even more fortunately, we only have a few more days of treatments.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Please Cars

We spend a lot of time discussing cars in this house.  A lot. We talk about what color they are; whether they are big or little; whether they go fast or slow; whether they have lights, what their horns would sound like; etc, etc.  Two years ago, I never would have guessed there would be this much to say about cars!

Yesterday, we were having a conversation about police cars and fire trucks that went something like this:

Me:  Would you rather drive a police car or a fire truck?

J:  (Makes the sign language sign for "please.")

Me:  Huh?  Please what?  That wasn't what I asked.  I asked if you would rather drive a fire truck or a... (the light bulb is going off over my head by now)  Do you think they're called, "please cars?"

J:  (big smile, nod) Yes

I couldn't help but laugh.  It actually does sound like "please cars" if you think about it! I asked him the same question a few different times throughout the day, just to see if that was really what he meant, and each time, he did the same thing. 

He may not be much of a talker, but the kid knows how to communicate.