Saturday, May 28, 2011

Red, White, and Blue Trifles

I know it seems like I'm contradicting myself since my last post was about getting into shape and this post is about dessert, but let me explain! Memorial Day is an important American holiday, so you see its my patriotic DUTY to make this dessert. This is me justifying what's about to go down.

In my defense, I picked a recipe that is very low in fat and calories. It doesn't get much lighter than Angel Food Cake, strawberries, fat-free Cool Whip, and blueberries. I cubed a piece of the cake and layered the ingredients in a juice glass.

So pretty and so easy!

I have never made Angel Food Cake from scratch so I wanted to try it out. I used this recipe, and it turned out heavenly. (Get it...Angel Food..Heavenly...I got jokes today, y'all) 

Egg whites are do they do that!?! I'm easily amused.


This recipe would still be delicious and super fast if you used a store bought cake or a box mix. Believe me, I'm all about cutting corners where I can, but I guess I was feeling wild and crazy today. (Yes, I know how sad it is that I am using 'wild and crazy' in this context.)

Anyway, hopefully, some of you have an actual 'wild and crazy' weekend planned. Say a prayer for our brave soldiers this weekend, stay safe, and have fun!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What Out of Shape Looks Like

This week the Jarrett family decided to get active and shed the winter fluff (my nice word for FAT). Brian and I have tried to eat healthier and started exercising. I can always tell when Hank puts on weight because all of a sudden his already little bitty head looks TINY compared to his big ol' body. To help both of us lose some weight, I have been taking him on walks each night. When I say the "W-A-L-K" word, he gets super pumped up and spins around in circles until I clip on his leash. The first 15 minutes of our walk he tries to pull my arm out of socket, while I continuously yell at him to slow down. I'm sure the neighbors love watching Hank walk ME around the block. When we get home, he doesn't even make it to his water bowl. He sluggishly steps onto the couch (because jumping requires entirely to much energy) and passes out.

I can't really blame him though. I pretty much do the exact same thing at the other end of the couch. I wish getting in shape was easier!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Three Things Making Me Happy

After an exhausting week like this one, it's important for me to step back and really think about things that I am thankful for and that make me happy.

(1) Brian and I had a wedding anniversary on May 15th.  I can't believe we have already been married for two years. They say time flies when you are having fun! I guess whoever 'they' are - is right. I'm not going to get all mushy-gushy, but it really is fun being married to your best friend.

May 15, 2009 = Perfect Day!

(2) Both of my sisters are college graduates! In December, Laura graduated from Arkansas State University, and last Saturday, Ellen graduated from the University of Arkansas. I can't believe my baby sisters are so grown up. I am VERY proud of them!

Laura's Graduation Day
Ellen's Graduation Day

(3) This week I booked Brian and I a condo in Orange Beach, AL for three nights in June. The beach is my happy place. As you can see from the picture in (1), we love the beach so much that we decided to get married there! I can be pretty high strung at times (understatement of the century), but the beach is where I feel completely relaxed.

It really does help me to stop and be thankful whenever I am feeling overwhelmed. I feel better already.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's Sarcastic Wednesday

The fact that it is only Wednesday makes me want to crawl under my desk and not come out until Friday at 5:00. I am really behind at work right now so over the past few days I have felt like a full-blown, forced in a straight jacket, crazy person. However, this Hoops and Yoyo video makes my day a little bit better. At my last job, we watched this just about every Wednesday, and I think I am going to bring that tradition back.

I still laugh every time I watch this. Okay, now back to work (in the land of fairies and elves, of course).

For more Hoops and Yoyo perfection, you can read about how I approach Mondays here.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Floating Vase

Our master bathroom is a work in progress. The previous owner painted the walls a pale greenish-grey color, and I can't decide if I love it or hate it. I am painfully indecisive so who knows when, or if, I'll change it. Either way, last week I got tired of staring at the stark walls and started decorating. I wanted to do an inexpensive DIY project, and found a great Floating Vase tutorial on one of my favorite blogs - Cupcakes and Cashmere. For the most part, I followed Emily's instructions, but I did make a couple of modifications.

Here is what I did:

(1) I went to Home Depot and found a 'poster board' size piece of 1/2" plywood and had them trim the piece down to "14x11". (The wood cost about $5, and they will cut it to size for free!) Next, I used our left-over white trim paint to give the wood a shabby chic look. I was nervous it was just going to look a whole lot of shabby and not so much chic, but I think it turned out nice.

(2) After the paint dried,  I positioned my vase (an empty pickle jar) on the board to figure out where I wanted it to hang. When I got it centered, I drilled two holes on each side of the jar.

(3) Next, I wrapped hanging wire around the top of the jar and laced the wire through the holes. I tied the ends in a knot and clipped the excess wire.

(4) After that, I screwed two wall hooks to the back of the wood. (I found a Hanging Kit that included the wire and hooks for around $3.) It is nearly impossible for me to get a picture level when I use two hooks, so I threaded the hooks with hanging wire and just used one nail to hang the Floating Vase.

(5) Finally, I added some pretty flowers. I know myself, and I will not take the time to add fresh flowers to the vase every week. I found these artificial blue hydrangeas for $2 at Walmart.

 Excluding the time it takes for the paint to dry, this only took about 30 minutes to complete. That and the fact that it only cost me about $10 made this little project one of my favorites.

You Respect Adele

A couple of weeks ago, I got in a very serious discussion about the amazing-ness that is the singer Adele. At one point, I angrily lashed out at Brian because he tried to say he wasn't a fan. Ok, so I may have lept in his direction like I was about to defend Adele's honor. Ellen made sure to bring me back to earth (and gave me this post's title).

No, Seriously, RESPECT!

I do love her oh so much. Her latest album, 21, is pretty much the only thing I have been listening to for the past month. It's called 21 because, well, she was 21 when she wrote it. Twenty-freakin-one years old.

My favorite song has to be 'Set Fire to the Rain'. How she sounds live is EXACTLY how she sounds on her album. Girlfriend can SANG.

This is clip of her and Darius Rucker covering Lady Antebellum's "I Need You Now." Crazy Talented.

Now you can see why my seemingly irrational outburst is TOTALLY justified, right? I thought so.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Mayo

Break out the chips and salsa - it's Cinco de Mayo! This is a day to celebrate Mexican heritage, AND the one night it's socially acceptable to get tequila drunk during the work week :). Which is why this is the perfect time to share my latest obsession. If you are a fan of margaritas (but don't like them too syrupy-sweet), you have to try Bethenny Frankel's Skinny Girl Margaritas! I like to pretend the 'Skinny Girl' part means, the more you drink - the skinnier you get, but after thoroughly testing this theory over the weekend, sadly, that is not the case. It does, however, only have 100 calories per serving, which makes me happy.

Below is a tutorial on how to make this yummy drink at home, or you can buy the bottled drink in most liquor stores.

Hope everyone has a fun (and safe) night!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Day of the Twisters - Please Help

On April 27th, over 100 tornadoes tore across Alabama. Although there were many communities close to us that were devastated on this day, Brian and I feel overwhelmingly blessed to have been spared. Our power went out at about 5:00 P.M., and when we woke up the next morning we began to hear reports that Madison County would not have electricity for 4-5 days. We drove around some on April 28th, but we did not want to be get in the way of the emergency teams that were trying to do their jobs.  People were forced to drive 45-50 miles to get ice, gas, and groceries. Luckily, we had about a quarter of a tank of gas (enough to get us out of Northern Alabama), and we decided to head to Arkansas for a long weekend. When we got to my parent's house, we read and watched countless reports of the death and damage across the state. We knew it was bad. On our way to Arkansas, we saw trampolines in trees, cars in the middle of fields, and homes ripped from their foundations, but I don't think the magnitude of the destruction sunk in until today. I have been glued to our local news station, and my heart is completely broken.

Local Headlines

I watched a story of Glen and Janice Riddle from Tanner, Alabama (not even 2 miles from Brian's bookstore). As a tornado plowed through their home, these grandparents laid on top of their 2 grand babies saving their lives, but lost their own in the process. Their son, whose children they saved, told the story of this ultimate sacrifice and how much he will miss his parents. There are hundreds of other stories very similar to this one. Over 250 people were killed in Alabama, and another 101 people died in Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Virginia and Louisiana during last week's storms. Some people have lost EVERYTHING, and desperately need assistance. I went to the this website to donate to the American Red Cross of Northern Alabama/Tennessee Valley Region.  I heard a man on the news today say, "What we do NOW, defines who we are." Please take a moment to pray for the families all across the South who lost their homes and/or loved ones during this horrific storm. Also, you can visit the American Red Cross website and designate exactly where you want your money to go. I truly believe that every single prayer is heard and every single dollar counts.