Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Architectural Project

Project: To take this house and downscale it while still maintaining the architectural detail and integrity of the exterior and the features of the interior.
Sussex house
I will be eliminating the basement entirely because it is supposed to be a house plan that could be used locally. How many basements are there in Mississippi? ;) Plus it will take away a lot of unused square footage. I'm still trying to decide what to do with the back stairs? Take them out completely? Raise them to give access to the second floor? Ideas?
One of the main features I fell in love with was the kitchen/living space. It is large, open and such a good place for a family to gather together.
It is absolutely amazing. Points of interest:
- I like how they added cabinets along most of the walls (look at the 1st and 3rd kitchen pictures).
- Check out the ceiling - I love the wood accents!
- In the first picture you can see a small butler's pantry tucked away to the right side of the stove
- You can't see the pantry too well in the pictures but it is a large walk-in pantry (7'-0" x 7'-0" according to the plan, not square but more triangular because of the wall angles.
- I like the generous size of the bar and island.
- I am definitely keeping the second sink that is by the pantry.

1st floor. Honestly, how many families need 2 2-car garages? ;) Check out the size of the master closet and bathroom. Or the whole master suite for that matter. *sigh*
If you click on the link above it says there are only 2 bedrooms. Yeah, there are definitely 6, including the second master suite. And they aren't small bedrooms either. The second floor also includes a 3rd living area.
The basement includes a ridiculously large recreation room with full kitchen, a playroom, a 2nd office, a ridiculous amount of unfinished storage and a home theater. How many "real" families actually need all of that? Note that I said need not want. ha

What is your favorite feature of this house? What should I keep and what, other than the obvious, is unnecessary? 

Anyway, that has been on my brain lately, along with the MS-CPAS exam, which I took yesterday. I am still going to do my protein frappe recipe. I ran into technical difficulties every morning when I had time to actually take pictures. But at some point, it will come.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Parmesan-Basil Tilapia

T is working the day shift today so I was on my own for lunch. I knew I wanted something light but flavorful and my first thought was to bake a tilapia filet. We normally take a frozen filet, cover it in lemon pepper and bake for 25-30 minutes. But I wanted something different. And I found it! ;)

I got the recipe from Shape Magazine's website. Since it was just me eating, I halved the recipe with the exception of the olive oil.
I didn't have any lemons or lemon juice so I passed on their version of the green beans and made my own.

Parmesan-Encrusted Tilapia
4 skinless tilapia fillets (1 pound total)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon dried basil
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons olive oil

Preheat the broiler. Cut the tilapia fillets lengthwise into two pieces, then pat dry with a paper towel and season to taste with pepper. In a small bowl, combine basil and Parmesan cheese; set aside.

Heat olive oil in a 12-inch heavy ovenproof skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Sauté the fish for 3 minutes or until brown. Flip the fillets over and remove the skillet from heat. Dust the tilapia with the cheese mixture. Place the skillet under the broiler to finish cooking the fish and slightly brown the cheese, about 3 to 4 minutes.

I don't have an ovenproof skillet so I placed it in a baking dish. It adds an extra dish to wash but totally worth it. ;) It was delicious, light and refreshing!

Clegg's Kitchen Green Beans
I love me some green beans. I like them to be flavorful. I suppose you could say I am picky when it comes to my green beans. But I blame it on my mom for making them taste so good. ;)
For every one can of green beans, add one chicken bouillon cube. Sprinkle with onion flakes. Bring all 3 ingredients to a boil. Stir to break up the cubes and reduce heat until ready to serve.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - It's been a while!

It has been a while since I did a Menu Plan Monday. And our kitchen has been a disaster bit of a mess because of it. This week I am going to be putting my crockpot to use and eating rice and beans. I still have a ridiculous bean stockpile from Brookshires closing out sale. Also, I don't work until Thursday so I will be trying some new recipes which is always fun!

Side note: T is feeling MUCH better. They think that he had Giardia which is an infection of the intestines caused by a parasite. It is usually caused by tainted tap water. We have no idea how it got it because we only drink bottled water. The antibiotics they put him on flushed it out and he no longer looks like he is pregnant. ;) He also said that he wants "real" food this week. That clear liquid diet did not bode well with my hubby.

I have perfected my morning protein drink. I absolutely, positively have never found a healthy drink that I like. But this is amazing! I am going to be sharing on that later this week. =) T always eats cereal for breakfast. He is a creature of habit and I have no intention of trying to convince him otherwise. It's less work for me! Ha.

Mostly leftovers at school/work for both of us.

Southwestern Pinto Bean Soup (new, crockpot)
Crockpot Red Beans and Rice
Mom's Cream Cheese Chicken (crockpot)
Slow Cooker Carnitas (new, crockpot)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Where did the time go?

Once again, I went a week without blogging. I sat down wanting to update but feeling like I didn't know where to start. I decided to catch up on my blog reading first and found my inspiration. Ashley is hosting a 7 things party - so I am joining in!
7 things about Ashley - right here, right now.

1) I miss my mom. She is out of town for Spring Break with our church's middle school choir. I can't wait for Common Ground's homecoming concert on Sunday.

2) I have a seriously sick hubby right now. T rarely gets sick (unlike me!). The following might be TMI but I don't know how else to explain and document what has happened without these details. It started as gas(burping) on Thursday evening. It slowly progressed to diarrhea and last night he started throwing up on the way to his parents' house. Over the last few days his stomach has slowly swollen, obviously bloated and hard, sensitive to the touch. I went to work this morning because he insisted that the didn't need to go to the doctor. I got a text message from his mom asking me to please bring him into her clinic at 2pm so I left work early(thank goodness for a somewhat an understanding boss). They ran blood work and did a stomach x-ray but they didn't see anything unusual. He has lost almost 10 lbs from his normal average weight. So they sent us home with 3 prescriptions to be filled to treat the gas, diarrhea and vomiting. They said if the swelling doesn't go down after he has been on the medicines for a little while, then we will go from there. He is a pitiful patient and absolutely does not like the fact that he is on an all clear liquids diet. Poor T-baby. :(

3) I have serious senioritis. I am ready to get my 2 degrees and find a full-time job. This whole working 35-40 hours a week AND being in school thing is for the birds. ;)

4) It is Spring Break and I decided to throw off my work schedule. Instead of closing at work every night as per usual, I am working 11-7. Not sure if I like this(even though I was only there for 2 hours of my shift today). The morning crew is very different from the night crew and not in a good way. I am still looking forward to getting home before 11pm every night this week though.

5) We did SO good on the eat from the pantry challenge in January but I have totally gone off from that. I am determined to do better and finish March off by spending less on groceries. I desperately need to find time to catch up on all of my coupons. It's lost somewhere in my long, long to do list.

6) I was supposed to go on a Spring Break weekend trip with some of my girl friends from church to see one of my dearest friends, Savannah, at school. She goes to Pensacola Christian College in Florida. They don't get a spring break so it has worked out in years past to go visit her on the last weekend of our spring break. BUT this year their Bible Conference is that weekend. So no trip. :( Instead, I got to take the money we had put aside for my trip to go clothes shopping. It helped make the situation a little better. ;) I was SO excited to find clothes that made me feel comfortable and adult. At 22, I still want to be in style and fashionable but apparently I have a different definition of modesty than most clothes designers. When I have money to shop, I can never find clothes that I like, make me feel good about my body and are MODEST. Anyone else have this problem? I think I might dedicate a whole different post to this. ;)

7) I feel completely guilty eating food when T can't have any. So here it is 9pm and I have not eaten dinner yet. Oops. I guess I need to go fix this problem.

Sorry it is nothing in-depth or insightful right now. Too many things swirling around in my mind, I guess.
Since I am school free, hopefully I can get back into my blogging swing. Is it weird to miss blogging?

Hope everyone has a great Monday!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Two Years Ago Today

*Deep breath. DON'T run down the aisle.*

Two years ago today, I married my best friend. There is no one else I would rather spend my life with. It hasn't always been easy but it is worth every bit of effort that has been put into it.
Unfortunately, I have only gotten to spend a few minutes with T today. I picked him up at work at 7:45 and he dropped me off at school so that he could go home to sleep. He picked me up after classes and I was greeted by a dozen roses, Reese's, a candle, and a card with the most precious hand-written note. I honestly wasn't expecting anything. His phone needed to be upgraded and I told him I'd buy him the iPhone for his anniversary present. When we went to pick it up, he told them to upgrade mine to an iPhone as well. So we gave each other iPhone for our 2nd anniversary. As soon as we got home, he had to leave to go to work. He was supposed to have the night off but when he got to work last night they told him he had to take the 4pm-midnight shift. :( I'm not going to lie, I cried a lot last night(I'm blaming it on harmones... yeah).
Only stolen moments with Prince Charming today. Guess I need to go eat dinner and try to be productive. ;o)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Wells Fargo Wagon


Ok, so it didn't exactly come by the Wells Fargo Wagon... But that is how excited I was when I found out I had a package at the post office yesterday.

I recently joined the Disney Movie Club and I got 7 movies for $21.90 plus free shipping.
I picked some and T picked some. These were my treasures this go-round.
The Muppet Movie. I LOVED this movie when I was little and I remember watching it over and over again with my younger siblings on VHS.
T's first pick - Hercules. I don't even know that I have seen this all the way through. We're going to fix that. ;)

Love, Love, Love this movie!
I have already busted out The Muppet Movie and watched part of it before I fell asleep last night. 
We pick Josie up tonight at 5.
Looking forward to snuggling with this sweet girl and watching some of my Disney favorites with her. ;o)
This Monkey is absolutely and has absolutely stolen my heart.

P.S. For those who may not know, Josie is my niece. She has been staying with us on the weekends. It's a complicated situation and I don't feel like it is my story to share with bloggy-world. But prayers are definitely appreciated.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Show Us Your Life - Schedules

My schedule is not really a schedule. Honestly. :) Between school(16+ hours/week) and work (30+ hours/wk), I feel like I have zero time to get things done at home. I have honestly felt like I have been failing as a wife and a homemaker recently. And we won't even begin to talk about how I have felt the last few days with all the time in the world on my hands, Thanks Strep Throat, and not being able to get anything done.
I am open to any and all suggestions on how to better balance this!
T works 3-4 days a week from midnight-8am and then 2 random shifts. This makes life with 1 car rather interesting. We shuffle a lot. ;o)
Monday through Thursday
6:00 - wake up. Or try to at least. I get up no later than 6:20
6:40 -7:15 Breakfast, let Coach and Lady take care of business and feed them.
7:20 Out the door for the commute to school (If I have to pick T up from work before I go, I leave at 7).
8-2:15 Architectural Design 2, short lunch break, Structural Design
4-10:30pm Work
8-10:15am Elementary Surveying (this is the class I hate because it is outside half of the time. I would NOT be taking this if it wasn't a requirement for graduation in May. Ha)
10:30-12pm I work on my hybrid Revit Architecture assignments
2-10:30pm Work
8-2:15 Architectural Design 2, short lunch break, Structural Design
6:30pm Renewal at Church
7:45-9pm Adult Choir practice
no classes! I try to spend my morning productively getting things done around the apartment or running errands. But I do enjoy sleeping in until a *shocking* 8am. Those extra 2 hours are heavenly!
2-10:30 Work
11 Church
Lunch at my parents
4:30 Chi Alpha (youth choir at church) practice
Sunday evenings are spent with T. With his crazy hours and my busy hours, we know that our Sunday nights we can just be still and relax. We call this our "date night" even if that date night consists of us vegging out in bed catching up on some shows via the internet.
Cutting off our cable several months ago seemed like a crazy decision at the time but honestly, I don't even know where I found time in the day to watch all the shows we watched! If we had it now, I can guarantee that I would get nothing productive done when I find some spare time. :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I started feeling rough Sunday morning when I woke up and have gradually gotten worse. At first I thought it was just a sinus infection because of the weather changes. But yesterday, I was so sick by the end of the night at work, I came home and passed out. T's mom took me and Josie into her office this morning. She thought Josie might have the flu and wanted to check me out too since I wasn't feeling well. Turns out we both have strep. Thank goodness for a MIL who is a nurse and who kindly called in a prescription for us. She said that Josie started feeling bad Thursday or so but just thought it was a cold. Josie has been staying with us on the weekends and she probably gave it to me this past weekend. Fun. ;)
I missed classes today and will probably miss class and work tomorrow. For now, I am just going to try to relax and rest.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Princesses Around the World (Epcot)

Yes, I am just now getting around to uploading and organizing our pictures from our trip that was nearly a month ago. My excuse is that I am keeping the magic alive. Yup. I'm sticking to that.
Our first day in the parks we went to Hollywood Studios for the morning because our friend Greg let us in and had an hour or so to kill. T, Greg and I did the Tower of Terror and Rockin' Roller Coaster. Even though Greg has worked at Disney for years, he has only been on Tower of Terror once and had never ridden the Rockin' Roller Coaster. Ridiculous! Ha. We had a fun morning. After Greg went to work, we took the boat over the  the World Showcase in Epcot where we hit the Princess  Jackpot.
Here are some collages I made(thank Myra for suggesting Picasa!) I think these are pretty self explanatory. Josie had a great time doing character meet and greets. Her favorites were the princesses, of course.What I loved is that no matter how long the line was the Princesses took their time talking with each child. It isn't like the other characters where you will sometimes get pushed along as soon as 2 or 3 photos are taken. Her birthday button was a great conversation started. You'll notice several pictures with 3 fingers being held up. ;o)
*You can click on each of the collages to enlarge them and see the pictures better.*
We caught Aurora right as she came out and Josie was the first in line. So stinking cute. There wasn't anyone else in line for a while so the photopass guy went nuts.

Belle is my favorite. =)

 We caught Jasmine and Aladdin in Morocco. Personally, I think Aladdin's grin is a bit too cheesy... and we won't comment on Jasmine. ;)

Josie adored Snow White. She gave Josie a kiss on the forehead that she was SO proud of. It was a fight to get her to eventually wash it off.

We caught Mulan during the perfect moment during the show in China. Unfortunately there wasn't a Photopass person there and my ice cream cone was melting too quickly to take too many photos. Ha. Josie also got a "lip print", as she calls it, from Mulan on her cheek.