Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Comfort Food Quesadillas

After my extremely frustrating day yesterday, I was in the need for comfort food. I had to get groceries anyway, so while I was at the store, I picked up some fresh mushrooms and fresh spinach to make one of my favorite things in the whole world:



When I was growing up, my mom always made quesadillas with ground beef and cheese. Those remain one of my all time favorite comfort foods. Honestly, I will put anything in a quesadilla and call it delicious. The melted cheese never fails to make me happy. Chicken, Spinach & Mushrooms is one of my best creations though!

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked & sliced into thin strips
1 package sliced white mushrooms
1 large onion, sliced
1/2 bag fresh spinach
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I use mozzarella)
8 large flour tortillas

Saute onions in oil or butter until golden. Add mushrooms, saute until the mushrooms are tender. Add chicken and spinach. Stir until the spinach is wilted completely. Turn heat down to low. Add cheese a little at a time, stirring constantly so it melts and covers everything.

In a separate skillet, place flour tortilla in a bit of melted butter. Spoon chicken mixture onto one side of tortilla, fold other side over. Once the bottom is golden and crispy, flip and cook the other side. Serve immediately.

I know you can buy a fancy pants quesadilla maker, and I probably will when we have more space. For now this method works for me. Yum! I got hungry just typing this!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Today was Definitely a Monday

This morning, at a ridiculously early hour, I dropped my beloved iPhone in the toilet.

I know, I know. I knew better than that.

Really, I was only trying to put my contacts in. I had just gotten out of bed, and went to put my contacts in so I could make a pot of coffee. I wasn't even going to the bathroom. So don't even ask my five-thirty-on-a-Monday-morning brain how exactly the phone got in the toilet. I haven't the slightest idea.

Here's what I know. The internet is filled with stories of water logged iPhones being resuscitated by drying out in a bag of rice. It worked for my friend Lindsey just last week (and yes, I wish I had learned from her mistake!) My superhero dad is also sending me a magical bag that is supposed to dry out wet cell phones. So, I'm holding on to hope that my sweet iPhone will be saved.

In the meantime, I feel horribly wonderfully weirdly disconnected. I keep unconsciously reaching for my phone to check the time, check my email, text my husband, play a quick game of Scramble with Friends... it's unbelievable how much I have to come to rely on that thing. Even as I was making dinner this evening, I kept have minor panic attacks of where-is-my-phone-I-think-I-just-heard-it-vibrate-maybe-I-have-a-new-alert-on-Facebook.

Maybe this is a good thing. (Maybe I'm just trying to prepare myself for the chance that it isn't saved by the rice and the magic bag). When I got home from work, I miraculously cleaned the bathroom--something I usually save for a day off--instead of playing a few hundred rounds of Temple Run.

While I'm open to the idea that being disconnected isn't so terribly terrible, and maybe God is showing me something here, I'd still appreciate you sending warm, dry thoughts in the direction of my phone!


Katie at Marriage Confessions is doing a giveaway for $100 gift card to Olive Garden. A chance for free food? Sign me up!

Josh and I had our first date at Olive Garden, so every time I go, it brings back special memories. Plus I love their salad and breadsticks! We went a few weeks ago with some friends, and everything was delicious. So when I saw Katie's post and the chance to win a gift card, I couldn't resist.

Friday, January 27, 2012

High Five for Friday!


Five things that I loved this week...

1. The fact that it's raining today and there is cooler weather on the horizon! No more feeling like summer in January!

2. Dinner & Laser tag last weekend with some friends. Why isn't laser tag cool anymore?

3. The mirror I bought at Hobby Lobby. I may or may not be obsessed with it. I also may or may not still have no idea where I'm going to put it!
4. Thirty-One's new spring line debuts next week, and I am in love with the new prints!
5. We have pretty much NO plans this weekend, and I am excited to be able to relax!

Happy Friday, friends!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What It Means

When I first started this blog, it was shortly after Josh and I were married. I knew that being married was going to be a whole new adventure, and I wanted to start a blog to chronicle the moments. I've always loved writing, and had often contemplated blogging, and being a newlywed seemed like a great time to start. I originally named my blog "Life as Josh's Wife" and wrote one post (you can still read it, way back here).

I had great intentions and not so much committment. Life took over and my one and only post stayed there with no visitors.

One day I was driving and heard Andrew Peterson's song Dancing In The Mine Fields on the radio, and I loved it. I love folk music, and I love Andrew Peterson, and this song is a perfect example of why. As I listened to it in the car, I was touched by what a perfect analogy for marriage it is.

Not just marriage, but faith, and friendships, and everything else.

If I've learned one thing in my twenty-something years, it's that life isn't easy at all. There are so many mines around. So many ways that we can be caught off guard and all our plans and best intentions can be blown up.

The other thing I've learned is that we're never alone; even at the hardest, darkest times, God is with us. And that's what I want to learn to embrace. I want to dance through life--embracing the good parts, without fear or anxiety over the mines.

So when I was inspired to start blogging again, I knew that's where I wanted my focus to be--finding the joy among the mines of everyday life.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Midweek Confessions

I'm linking up to E again because these are therapeutic! I like spilling my guts.

  • I hate, hate, HATE the dentist. HATE. Is that clear enough? They scare me to death. I have no idea why, really. Even the ones that sedate you scare me. I keep saying I'm just going to let all my teeth fall out and get fake ones and be done with the dentist.
  • I just bought a mirror at Hobby Lobby that I have no idea where I am going to put it. We live in a one bedroom apartment and don't have a ton of space. Justification: it was 50% off, I had a gift card from my MIL for Christmas, it is gorgeous, and it was made in America. What do you think?
  • I hate the amount of time it takes to put on makeup the morning, but I hate the way I look without makeup more. I don't wear a ton, but I have to at least do my eyes or I look like I'm 12.
  • I didn't watch the State of the Union last night. Josh did, and complained the whole time. This is why I don't watch--because I'd just be annoyed. So I ignored it. 
  • I think I could give up sweets pretty easily. What I can not give up is cheese and bread. I could live off of either one of those.
  • Whenever I use my computer, I realize how disgustingly dirty it is. Dusty and the screen has some random smudges on it. But I always forget to actually clean it. Oops.
That's it for this week!

I Love Hate Just Don't Know About Florida...

There are some things I really, really enjoy about living in the Sunshine State.

For one, sunshine! I only like rainy days when I can curl up in bed and watch movies all day.
I like the beach. 
I like the ocean.
I like being close to Disney, Universal, Sea World, etc so theoretically, I could go whenever I wanted. Noth that I have gone in years.
From what minimal snow exposure I've had, I think I like not having to deal with snow.
I like fresh oranges all year long.
I like being close to the South but not really in the South.
But this...this I could live without:

Really? 81 degrees in the middle of January? I want to wear sweaters and jeans and boots, and this weather is not cooperating with my winter wardrobe.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Puppy Love

Josh and I don't have kids yet, but we do have two furry friends that think they are our kids.

We adopted both of our dogs without knowing much about them. Riley (the big lab/shepherd mix) came from a Walmart parking lot where a man was giving away puppies for free. June (the little terrier) came from an ad on Craiglist. We lucked out, though, and both of our girls are sweet, playful and generally well behaved.

And now, because I am too tired to write an actual post, I will shower you with pictures of the furballs:

Our girls get along really well with each other, too. They snuggle together and play together, and share their toys without fighting. 
I can only hope that one day when we do have kids, they get along as easily! (Yeah, right. I probably just cursed myself!)

If you just can't get enough of Riley & June, you can always follow my feed on Instagram @NormySapp!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

On Insecurity

Since I switched my day off and have been able to go to church on Wednesday nights, I've been going to a woman's Bible study based on the book So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore.

I have some Beth Moore experience under my belt from college, and while I love to roll my eyes at how ridiculous she can be, I have always learned from her. This time around isn't any different.

Last week, one of the challenges was for us to think about how our insecurity limits us. To really, honestly take a look at our lives and see what we're missing out on because of insecurity.

Now, I'll admit, I've always struggled with insecurity. I'm generally quiet and shy and it takes a while for me to warm up to new people. But I had never really given any amount of thought to what I was missing out on because of my insecurity. Or given any thought to the idea that I didn't have to be insecure, that it was something I could change.

I was kind of shocked when I started paying attentions to the things that I hold back from because of insecurity...
  • There's a knitting group meet up that I keep saying I'm going to go to, to learn to knit and meet new people. I've been saying this for almost a year and still haven't gone. 
  • When I'm ordering food I hesitate to make special requests. My boss is very specific about how she likes her sushi, and it is torture when I have to order it!
  • I am an independent consultant for Thirty One Gifts.While I love their products, I very rarely promote my business or invite people to host parties.
  • Coming up with blog posts is difficult, because I'm always worried that I'll bore you to death or that you won't like what I wrote. 
  • On our first date, I wouldn't look Josh in the eyes and I barely talked to him. Good thing he was willing to look past that!
I'm sure I could think of plenty more, but you get the idea.


John 10:10 tells us that God wants us to live abundantly.

I know this, but often I am too worried about what others will think or how I will feel to embrace it. As I said, I've always just looked at my insecurity as a character trait, part of my personality, not something I could actually change. But I am beginning to realize that maybe I can change, and maybe I need to. Maybe I shouldn't spend so much time worrying about what everyone else thinks, and instead dwell on what God thinks.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I Must Confess...

  • I actually kind of like doing dishes. Don't tell Josh. What I hate is putting away clean dishes. I swear, if he would just keep the drying rack empty, I would happily wash dishes all day long.
  • I recently switched my day off (I work four 10-hour days) from Friday to Wednesday. While I have dreaded giving up my long weekends, I think I might like having a break in the middle of the week. I switched it so I could attend church on Wednesday nights, which I'm very excited about!
  • Seeing as how I am off today, I have been super lazy. Monday I was off for MLK and was productive. Today, I slept until 9, and have yet to do anything remotely productive.
  • I saw Mark Wahlberg's new movie Contraband with a friend on Sunday, not because we had any interest in the storyline, but because Marky Mark was in it. It was a bit way too intense for me. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and my heart was racing! 
  • I keep swearing I 'm going to start eating a healthy breakfast before work, and then I don't. I usually don't eat anything. I know this is horrible for me, but the thought of food in the morning makes me nauseous. Sometimes I can choke down a granola bar but that's about it. 
  • Now, because it is cold and rainy and that's as good of an excuse as any, I am going to turn on the TV, watch trashy reality shows, and take a nap.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why I Hate Target

Just kidding, I love Target. A whole lot. Maybe a little too much.
I saw this on Pinterest and laughed, because it's so entirely accurate. I get excited when I have a reason to go to Target. Yesterday my reason was that I was almost out of saline solution for my contacts, and Target has the best deals on saline. The part about them having great prices is true (a two pack for $3.69!) but I may or may not have half a bottle of saline left.

So if I spent $3.69 on saline, I would like to know how exactly my total at Target was nearly $50 dollars. Whaaaaat?? And that was after I forced myself to put down the adorable sandals I have been eying for 4 months that were on clearance for 50% off! I did, however, purchase some really cute Florida Gator onesies for the cutest little boy I know.

That's it. I'm staying out of Target.

...at least until I'm running low on saline again!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Gator Toes & Kangaroo Bites

My brother is in town this weekend for a business conference. He generously hauled up our "new" couch that we inherited from my aunt & uncle (Thanks, guys!) Last night we went to dinner and since he had a friend with him, the obvious choice was Clark's Fish Camp. If you're a Jacksonville native, you've probably visited this rustic restaurant on the creek. If you're not from around here or you just haven't been--you're missing out!

Highlights of Clark's:
  • They host the largest private taxidermy collection in America, which is displayed throughout the dining areas. I'm talking lions, tigers, giraffes, and a multitude of other animals--some of which I couldn't even identify. (I'm pretty we spotted at least one honey badger though!)
  • Their menu boasts everything from Southern basics like fried shrimp and grits to exotic selections including llama, python and kangaroo.
  • A recently added large aquarium features a 5 foot alligator named Lilly.
  • Beautiful location on Julington Creek--when the weather is nice you can sit outside and enjoy the view.

Clark's is always my choice when I have friends visiting from out of town, and it never fails to please.

Last night we started with BBQ Chargrilled Gator Toes:

You can see I was a little skeptical, but they actually were pretty good. Just like chicken. Even better when dipped in the accompanying Toe Jam sauce!

Next we sampled fried Kangaroo. I don't know how I feel about eating kangaroo, but it was delicious! I'm usually not a huge fan of "gamey" meat. I'll eat venison but it's not my favorite. The kangaroo was impressively good though! Next time, we plan to try the llama, python and antelope.

For dinner we stuck to more commonplace choices. I had delicious coconut shrimp, while Josh, of course, chose the largest steak on the menu:

Yes, folks, he finished it all. And ate his black eyed peas and macaroni and cheese, too. My husband is impressive.

If you're looking for good food and a good time, I highly recommend Clark's Fish Camp. It's always an adventure!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Love & Respect

A few years ago, when Josh & I had first started dating, my mom gave me the book Love and Respect as a Christmas present. We had been together not quite six months, but we both knew by then it was going someplace serious. And I think my mom knew too, which is why she gave me a book for married couples.
 As I do with most books, I started to read it almost immediately. And as I do with most nonfiction books, I got distracted a few chapters in and it got forgotten on the bookshelf.

The book's main theme is pretty self explanatory- that wives desperately need to know their husbands love them, and husbands desperately need to know that their wives respect them.

Well, duh.

When I first read the book, as I said, Josh and I were just dating. Many of the points addressed in the book didn't necessarily apply to us, because we were still in the "honeymoon" phase.
Look how cute we were!
Fast forward a few years later, and we are quickly approaching our second wedding anniverary. While I will say our second year has been significantly easier than the first, we still have our moments where we want to strangle each other. And at the end of many of our fights battles disagreements, I am left feeling like we're going in circles.

Not long ago I picked up the book again to see what advice it would offer. This time around, I am proud to say I made it all the way through the entire book, and loved it.

One of the things that struck me the most was how often I, as a wife, fail to show my husband that I respect him. I'm really good at showing him I love him, because that's what comes naturally to me. But so often, especially when I am frustrated, I don't act like I respect him. I make sarcastic comments and roll my eyes and let the little things bug me. Then, because he feels disrespected, he is not particularly loving towards me, and the cycle continues. This handy infographic explains it better than I ever could:

I'm not doing a great job of explaining this, but trust me, when I read the book, a light bulb went off in my head. I've been trying to be more aware of how I speak to Josh, and to make it obvious how much I do respect him.

If you're married, or in a serious relationship, I can't recommend this book enough!

Now, your turn... what books have positively affected your relationships? Please share!

Happy Friday!

1.   The last thing I ate was  a bagel and cream cheese that I stole from our school's kitchen. 

2.   The last song I listened to was...I'm trying to remember what the last song was on the radio in the car. I think it was "Good Morning" by Mandisa. It's a little cheesy but a fun morning song!

3.  Using the letters in my name I can spell (Jennifer) fine, fern, rife, fee, nee...

4.  If I had to dress in one color for the rest of my life I would pick It would have to be blue, because there are so many shades of blue. And if you look at my color-coded closet, I have more blue than anything else (even though I didn't plan it that way!)

5.  If you were to look in my bag right now you'd find Some mail, wallet, empty ziploc, a random piece of gum, 5 or more lip balms/glosses, pen, calendar, camera cord, headphones, coupons, and a bunch of random receipts I need to trash.

6.  When I finish filling in the blanks I'm going to go check on our teachers and make sure all the classrooms are in ratio.

7.  My all time favorite song to dance to is I don't know...the only time I really dance is at weddings with good friends and a few glasses of wine. Then I'll dance to whatever the DJ plays! 
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Not My Cup of Tea

Every so often, I'm at the grocery store, see a new fun flavor of hot tea, and decide I'm going to be a tea drinker. Or I walk by the tea store in the mall, and try a free sample, and wonder why I don't drink hot tea regularly. I think it would be lovely to drink a cup of hot tea every night before bed. A lovely little nighttime ritual to end the day.

In reality, the only time I actually drink tea is when I am sick. To me, being sick = drinking hot tea. Whenever I was sick, my mom made me tea with honey and lemon. (She also made me a bed on the couch and brought me a cup of Gatorade with a straw in it and gave me my medicine like clockwork. Hey Mom, I am sick, do you want to come visit and take care of me?)

My point is, I always have these situations that sound great in my head, but in real life they don't turn out to be so great.

...Such as a taking a bubble bath. I always think a bubble bath with a glass of wine and a good book sounds delightful. I get hot after five minutes, I'm uncomfortable because our bathtub is roughly the size of a shoebox, and I can't read without getting the book wet.

...Such as going to the beach. I love the beach--in theory. I grew up close to one of America's Top 10 best beaches:

I always think the beach is so much fun. Then I get there, and I'm over it after ten minutes. It's hot, the sand makes me itchy, there's too many people, and there's too many creatures to worry about. One time my friends and I saw a huge shark in the water at the beach. Okay, it turned out to be a manatee, but still. You just never know.

...Such as baking intricate desserts. I find amazing recipes online (partly in thanks to my Pinterest addiction)
and decide to make them. By the time I put the first batch of whatever it is in the oven, I have flour all over the kitchen, I'm nauseous from taste-testing too much batter, and the prospect of cleaning up my mess makes me vow to never do it again. Until the next time I find a recipe for peanut butter brownies and decide they have to be made immediately.

I wish my plans turned out as fantastic as they sound in my head!

{Insert Crazy Laughter}

I had a really funny dream last night. Hysterical-laughing-out-loud funny.

You want to hear my dream, right?

You want me to tell you all the hilarious details?

...Me too. Except I have no idea what I dreamed about!

Me: (sitting straight up in bed): HAhaHAhAHaHAHAhahaHAHaHA!
Josh: (awoken from deep slumber): What? What are you laughing about?
Me: (still sleeping) HAHahAhAHAhAHAHAHA!
Josh: (getting annoyed) WHAT are you laughing at?
Me: (slightly awake now): What? *promptly fall back asleep*

I have no memory of said laughter. When I woke up, I was sitting up in bed, and Josh was yelling at me. I have no idea what I thought was so funny. I wish I did, though, because it was apparently really funny.

This isn't the first time I've woken Josh up with my middle of the night antics.
He loves to tell the story of when he woke up to find me standing across the room next to his dresser.
I still have no idea what I was doing there.
Several other times I've woken him up with my ramblings, only to have no idea what I said or what I was talking about.

So, there you go. Proof that I am crazy!

I'm linking up to E, Myself & I's Midweek Confessions...it was such fun last week so I'm doing it again!

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Proof is in the Salad

I am submitting this as proof that I am meeting at least one of my New Year's goals!

I made a huge chopped salad yesterday and am currently enjoying some of it with spicy Asian ginger dressing. Yum!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Thirty before Thirty

 As of writing this post, I have exactly:

until I turn thirty.

I have to keep checking the math in my head. Wait, thirty? Are you sure? Didn't I just turn 21?

Didn't I just turn 3 and get an awesome Rainbow Brite tricycle?

I'm not really stressing it, though. I don't feel that old and everyone says their thirties are better than their twenties, anyway.

Before I reach this milestone though, there are some things I would like to check off my bucket list. Things I have been talking about or thinking about and haven't done yet. Turning 30 gives me a date to countdown to. Like I said yesterday, I work better under pressure, so instead of giving myself the rest of my life to complete these, I'm hoping that giving myself a cutoff makes me more productive.

1. Read the entire New Testament
2. Take the ferry to Cumberland Island
3. Be pregnant (or trying)
4. Cook an intimidating recipe from Julia Child's cook book
5. Get my director's credential
6. Watch a Jax Beach sunrise
7. Lose 30 pounds
8. Sew a skirt I can wear in public
9. Pick our own fruit at a U-Pick-It Farm
10. Find a skin care regimen and stick to it!
11. Make bread from scratch
12. Go to a Gator home game
13. Go out of the country
14. Get a makeover & buy some of what is recommended
15. Grow out my nails & get a manicure
16. Give up soda
17. Make another quilt
18. Stay in a quaint bed & breakfast with Josh
19. Cut my hair & donate it to Locks of Love
20. Back up the photos on my computer
 21. Complete photo books for our honeymoon & first year of marriage
22. Run a mile
23. Save more than I spend at the grocery store
24. Go on a road trip with Josh
25. Have a significant amount of money in savings
26. Make authentic Pad Thai from scratch
27. Be a Vegan for a week
28. Reupholster a piece of furniture
29. Find a type of fish I like & learn to cook it
30. Play in the snow

Friday, January 6, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday!

Happy Friday, folks! I'm joining Lauren @ The Little Things We Do for another meme today. I have always loved surveys and such!

1.   One of my favorite things to do when I have free time is   do something crafty. Or catch up on my reading.

2.   When I have free time I tend to    be less productive than when I am busy. It's the procrastinator in me. I work better under pressure.

3.  If I had an entire day completely to myself I would  find a small coffee shop to have breakfast and read in. Take a nap on the couch. Talk the dogs for a long walk in the park. Rent a movie from Red Box and eat ice cream out of the carton.

4.  I would prefer to spend my free time (alone or with others...)  half and half. I love lunch dates with friends, and hanging out with my hubby, but I also love time alone.

5.  Most of my free time happens   On my days off. I am lucky enough to work four 10-hour days, so I get Friday off (most weeks). I love, love, love my day off.

6.  The best thing about free time is  naps! I love naps! Free time means I can nap!

7.  The next time I have free time I should probably   organize something or clean something  but instead, I'll probably    play around on Pinterest and stalk new blogs.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Midweek Confessions

I came across this meme on a new blog I started following, so I thought I'd join in the fun!

  • I packed up all of our Christmas stuff last week, so we could put it in storage at my mom's house. I left our HOHOHO cookie jar out though, because it's full of Christmas candy and I was too lazy to transfer it to something else.
  • I hate hate hate to iron. Usually I can get away with not ironing by using some wrinkle release spray and a few minutes in the dryer. Unfortunately, we do not currently own a dryer. Sometimes I go to work in clothes that are damp from the wrinkle release spray! (I know my mom is gasping for breath at that!)
  • If I buy fresh bread at the grocery store (like Rye or Sourdough from the bakery), I break into it in the car. I swear I could eat a whole loaf of bread by myself. 
  • Since starting this blog (less than a month ago) I have become obsessed with checking my stats, coming up with new ideas to blog about, and finding new blogs to follow.
  • We currently live in a one bedroom apartment and when our lease is up, we are looking to rent a house with at least 2 (preferably 3) bedrooms. I have been stalking rental houses online; one of the reasons I am so excited about this is that another bedroom means room for a baby! Shhhh, don't tell my husband ;)
  • I love to read and will read pretty much anything, but I tend to get stuck halfway through nonfiction books. As a result, I have read the first half of most of the nonfiction books on my shelf, and the second half of none of them.

Thanks for letting me spill my guts!

Snowman Cake Pops!

I made Snowman Cake Pops for my family this weekend, and I pretty much love them!

One of the gifts I gave a few people this year was membership in my inaugural "Cake Pop Club". This means I am committed to making cake pops at least bimonthly and making sure they're delivered on time (yikes!). I saw these snowmen on Pinterest (where else?) and made these as their introductory pops.

I know there are several ways to make cake pops, but I've only tried one way. Bakerella is the one who introduced me to cake pops and inspired me to make my own, and I use her method faithfully. She has a great video tutorial here that you should definitely watch if you have any interest in cake pops! I'm going to share a mini-tutorial on how I made these, but trust me, Bakerella is the expert.

1. Start with a box of cake mix, whatever brand you can get on sale. I usually use chocolate or vanilla, but the fun part is you can use whatever floats your boat. I bake it per the directions on the box, but I pull it out of the oven a few minutes early. You want the cake to be cooked through but not burnt at all on the top, because that makes the next step harder.

2. Once the cake is cooled, crumble it up into a big bowl.

3. Add frosting. Some recipes say a whole can, I have found that I usually use a little less than half a can. Mix the frosting into the crumbled cake a little at a time, until it forms a dough.

4. Using your hands, roll the dough into balls and set on a cookie sheet. I aim for about 1 1/2 inches in diameter; the bigger the cake balls, the harder they are to dip. Place the cake balls into the refrigerator for at least an hour.

5. Now comes the fun part! Place two balls on each lollipop stick. The stick should go all the way through the top ball, and about halfway through the second.

6. Melt your  white candy coating. I use Wilton Candy Melts, because they're readily available at craft stores in a variety of colors. You can melt them in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until completely melted. For the snowmen, I used a tall coffee cop to melt the candy, so it would be deep enough to dip the entire snowman. One trick I learned from Bakerella is to add vegetable oil to the melted candy. It makes it so much easier to dip. I added about 1 tbsp for the 12 oz bag of candy melts.

7. Gently dip each snowman into the melted candy. If it the candy doesn't make it all the way over the top of both cake balls, tip the cup or gently tip the snowman. Don't stir--it'll make the cake balls slide off the stick. Trust me, I've lost many a cake ball in a pool of melted candy.

8. Set the dipped snowmen on foil or wax paper to harden. Aren't they adorable?
9. As the candy hardens, it turns matte instead of shiny. Once they're set, you can add their facial features and give them some personality! I used candy sprinkles for their noses, using a little extra melted candy to attach it. For the eyes and mouth, I tried an edible marker for some of them.

Add a plastic treat bag and some ribbon, and you're all set!

Monday, January 2, 2012

It's Gonna be a Happy New Year!

Happy 2012, everyone!

Josh and I spent a long weekend in Tampa with my family, celebrating a belated Christmas. We had a wonderful, relaxing time. I've been off work for 5 days and while I love my job, I am not looking forward to the alarm tomorrow.

Seeing as how it's 2012 already, I wanted to write down some goals for the new year. I don't like the term "resolutions" because those always get broken. So these aren't my resolutions, these are just some habits I'd like to start (and some I'd like to stop).

1. Stop biting my nails. I have tried this multiple times and sometimes it lasts for a few weeks. But I always end up biting them again! I've tried having acrylic nails put on to help break the habit, but as soon as I get them taken off, I go back to biting. Part of my problem is that usually I don't even notice I'm biting them until I've already bitten half of them. Anyone have any suggestions on how to stop completely?

2. Eat Healthier: The reality is we don't eat that badly. I don't buy a lot of snacks or premade meals, mostly because of our budget. But I do cook a lot of pasta and I love cheese. And if there's a dessert around, I will eat it. I want to start eating more fresh fruits & vegetables and less sugar. I found a local organic produce company that sells huge bags of produce for $33 a week. I'd like to start doing this, because having all that fresh produce around will hopefully force me to eat more of it. I also need some healthy recipe ideas, so please share!

3. Quality Time with God Daily: I'm stealing this explanation from Whitney's (one of my favorite blogs that I follow!) because she said it so well: "Spend quality time in the Word each day and to nurture an ever growing and maturing prayer life."  Amen.

4. Explore Jacksonville: Josh and I are pretty conservative and unadventerous. We have routines and we usually don't explore outside of them. This year I want to see some new things! There are multiple parks, historic sites, and cool things to do in Jax. I want to try some of them this year. If you are a local and have some recommendations, please share!

That's it. I'm keeping it pretty basic in hopes that it will help me actually follow through! And I'm hoping that by sharing these with you, I'll have some more accountability to stick to my goals.