24 August 2013

A Bridal Shower, A Bachelorette, A New Job, and A New Car!

ALL in one, short week!

My, oh my... this week has been exhausting! So much fun... but exhausting!

Let me start from the beginning...

Last Wednesday (the 21st) around 9 am, I found out that the 2nd grade teaching job I had secured, had fallen through. For some reason, there had been a mix up in the hiring process and I had "fallen through the cracks." I took it pretty hard but after talking with Parker, we decided it was better off that I didn't teach this year. I could spend more time on the apartment, on the wedding, and on my second job. We actually felt good about the decision. Really good. It was going to be a stress-free year!

Then... around 4pm on the same day, I received a call from a new principal who wanted me to teach first grade at her school. I couldn't help but shriek, "YES, YES, YES!" I hadn't even talked to Parker about it. I was just too excited and even though I knew it would be very stressful to start the year at a new school, it was in my heart. I believe I have a "calling" to be a teacher and it is something that I just love to do. I couldn't imagine not working with young children.

That phone call meant that the next week and half were going to be CRAZY busy and I can honestly say that today is the first day I don't feel like I am a walking zombie just going through the motions of the day.

I spent the last week at work orientations, meeting my new class, and teaching and all the stress has been more than worth it. I love my new class and they are SO eager to learn.

Getting this new job, also meant that Parker and I had to buy a new car! Yes, I said we "had to." Neither of us were too excited about it, but it was a necessity. Parker and I have shared a car for the past 6 years. SIX years... that means we spent every morning and every evening together, dropping one another off and picking one another up from work. We discussed our days, stopped for Starbucks on the way to work, and grabbed dinner together on the way home. It was a bit sad to buy our second car and we are still getting used to not seeing one another nearly as often. In fact, I leave for work over an hour before he even wakes up! We knew we would have to buy a car eventually so I bought my "mom car." It is a perfect mix between a mini-van and an SUV. It has 3 rows of seats to eventually fill with kids! The 2 back rows also fold down which leaves plenty of room for all the furniture we still need to buy for our apartment.

Here is a picture of our new Dodge Journey:

In between buying a new car and preparing for my new job, I was thrown the BEST bridal shower and bachelorette party last weekend!

My mom and sisters spent so much time making my bridal shower extra special and I couldn't have asked for anything more. It was a brunch (my favorite meal) at my aunt's beautiful house with 22 of my closest female friends and family.

Parks dropped me off and stopped in for a *quick* second to say hello!

My bridesmaids and I! We are a good-lookin' crew if I don't say so myself :)

 Little Sister and Big Sister :)

My maids of honor

 Friends! I look like I was talking, which is probably what was happening.

Goofy picture of mom and her girls

 Some cute decor

 Mimosas, Party Punch, and much more

 Sisters made favors with nail polish, lip balm and other cute goodies

Only a little bit of the food! We had a belgian waffle station, some delicious quiches, and a dessert set up with cupcakes made by my talented cousin, Meghan!

Above-mentioned desserts

Right after the bridal shower ended, my girlfriends and I packed up our stuff and headed out to Boston for a wild and fun bachelorette party!

We went to a comedy show, All The Single Ladies, in Boston and it was a blast! Lots of laughs were had and we did our fair share of dancing. I couldn't find too many pictures of the night... which is probably a good thing ;)
Some of the girls posing :)

Many thanks to my bridesmaids, Romanda and Shayla, for planning the night! I had SO much fun.

Soooooo.... that has been my week in a nutshell! I imagine the next few weeks before the wedding won't slow down too much, so I am trying to sit back and enjoy the ride.

27 days people... 27 DAYS!!!

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12 August 2013

Two Easy Dinners from Susie Homemaker!

Susie Homemaker?! Not quite, but I am trying!

I cooked TWO meals this past week and let me tell you, it felt goooood to cook again. The past few months we have been living off take out and I was ready to put on my apron and start creating!

The first easy dinner took about 30 minutes from start to finish and most of that time involved me drinking a beer on the couch while I waited for the salmon to come out of the oven.
I didn't take any pictures of the "process" but it really doesn't need any. I bought the salmon that day from the supermarket so it was nice and fresh. All you need to do is preheat the oven to 375. I drizzled a baking dish with olive oil, salt and peppered the salmon and squeezed a whole lemon on the salmon fillet. I plopped it in the oven for about 25 minutes until it was light pink and flaky!

With 5 minutes left, I made our salad as a side. Let me tell you this was THE easiest thing ever, mostly because I used this:
 That's right... pre-made salad kit. These kits have everything you need right in the bag and this one was delicious. I poured the dressing right in the bag, shook it all up and served it with our salmon.
So I didn't do that much, but cut me some slack... like I said, it has been months!

My second go around this week required a bit more effort on my part:

Easiest part of the dinner. I bought these, pre-seasoned chicken breasts and all I had to do is grill them up while everything else was cooking.

Mashed Taters:
First, I halved all the gold potatoes and threw them in a big ole pot, covered them with water and started boiling. When making mashed potatoes, I always add salt and a crushed garlic clove to the water while it boils. I find that it adds a lot of flavor to the potatoes and I love me some garlic!
I let them boil for about 20 minutes before I drain them and get to mashing.
I recently found this awesome Joseph Joseph Mash and Scoop that worked just as wonderfully as I had hoped!
Before I started mashing, I added 3/4 cup of skim milk, 2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup of butter and sprinkled some salt and pepper on top! Then I scooped them on my plate!

Lemon-Garlic Brussel Sprouts:
The oven was already pre-heated to 450 degrees.
I rinsed the brussel sprouts and mixed them in a bowl with 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, the fresh squeezed juice of 1 lemon, 1 tbsp of minced garlic and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. **Spread the brussel sprouts evenly on a roasting pan and roast them for 30 minutes until tender.

**Guess what I forgot to do?! Split them! HA! They were already roasting in the oven when I realized this... so I had to cook them longer and they still weren't as tender as normal... dang you Susie Homemaker!! Make sure you cut the brussel sprouts in half before you start the recipe.**

Despite the silly mistake, our dinner was still pretty scrumptious!

Maybe another day I will let you know about the time I accidentally made "salt cookies" or the time I made a whole cheesecake and forgot to add the sugar.... WOOPS! I am still a homemaker in progress!

Happy Cooking :)
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07 August 2013

Apartment Livin'

We have lived in our new apartment for 6 nights now and we are LOVING it here!

The place is still pretty empty, but we are enjoying finding the right pieces for our space. We are also enjoying the local restaurants! The downtown area is only 2 blocks away and it is filled with cute, local shops and eateries :)

Another reason we love living here, is that our landlords are AWESOME. Look what we found in our fridge on move-in day:

We still have lots to decorate but here is what we have done so far...
^Our new, king sized bed with Target gray and yellow quilt set!^

We needed a desk set-up immediately and I fell in love with this little red on at Target. The chair is also from Target and it has gotten a ton of use these past 6 days. That is in most part due to the fact that we didn't get our new couch until TODAY!

And there it is...
We love our big, gray couch from Bernie &  Phyls! The throw is from HomeGoods and the pillows, curtains, and shag rug are from Target. (Hmm... are you seeing a pattern here?)
You can see on the price tag, that this is from HomeGoods. I think this thing is retro and funky and I pretty much fell in love with it right away. My sister did not think it was "retro" or "funky." She just thought it was ugly, but I didn't care... I wanted it and now I have it! I think I may change out the knobs, but I don't know yet...

 Living in an oldddd, Massachusetts home is great for many reasons (real hardwood floors, loads of character, etc.) but the downside is these homes are usually lacking in closet space! I can tell you this place has no huge walk-in closets like my old Vegas apartment. We were in need of dressers immediately! We are currently in the process of building a dresser set from Target and you know how that goes... arguing, frustration, laughing, and then arguing again. So in the meantime, I found this cute little dresser on the street! Nothing like a good ole curbside pick up!

We have plenty more projects to share, but for now I have to go plop my tush on that sofa and start checking things off my wedding to-do list.

44 days! AH!

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