Monday, December 13, 2010

Out with Friends

The past few weeks have included lots of fun with friends!

On Dec 2nd we celebrated Lyndsey's birthday with an amazing dinner at 801 Steak and Chop and then carried on to the Quaff- too much fun and too many cocktails! But so worth every minute.

Last week Lyndsey, Allison and myself attended "An Acoustic Christmas" concert benefiting the Salvation Army at VooDoo Lounge... artists included: Rodney Atkins, Josh Gracin, Chuck Wicks and Sunny Sweeney.... with that line up and us girls- you couldn't ask for a better time! We bought a round of shots for the band, were tossed the mic to sing along with Rodney Atkins and had an all around FABULOUS TIME!

and here are a few pix....

a lil painting

In a few months I will have reached 2 years in my current apartment... and I love it... and don't forsee any reason why I won't renew when the time comes. That being said- I am a person who loves to decorate- or at least make my place nice! So- with the help of my best friend, and most talented artist, Emma- we picked out some paint colors for my kitchen and bathroom- being that they are small rooms - and an easy start!

So- I started with the kitchen- I bought the paint on a Tuesday after work and taped, painted and cleaned that very same night- while watching Glee and making dinner!
Here are the photos of "Sweet Maple" in the kitchen:

Next came the bathroom... that took place this past Saturday...and let me be perfectly frank... I HATE painting bathrooms! There are so many darn nooks, crannies and weird spots to paint... and I did this all without a ladder.... needless to say, I was super frustrated by the and and now have some ceiling touch up to do!! However- I LOVE it now- looks super awesome.

Its kind of crazy how much paint can change a room...I'm very pleased with my handy work...and ready to tackle another room or 2!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Life Happened...

So- here it is- the apology!
I'm sorry- to all of my followers (mom!) - its been awhile. I got busy! I guess traveling home for Thanksgiving- which was AWESOME- an entire week away from work and alarm clocks - has left me delinquent in my posting.
I have several random photos to post and a few from Thanksgiving as well- I will get there- I promise!

I have been having lots of fun- since I returned home from Thanksgiving- I have painted my kitchen, celebrated Lyndsey's birthday too hard, spent a great day with Emma and Molly, done lots of work, nearly completed Christmas shopping, decorated apartment, gift wrapped every present, organized closets, tore apart bedroom closet and organized and even watched a movie! YIKES! I was pretty worthless last night- I admit it - I went home after work- made dinner and crashed. I guess I was wore out!

This week seems to be equally as busy- a fun concert, visit with friends for birthdays/celebrations and on call again this weekend. I hope to paint the bathroom - oh April!

Also- this is a good time to congratulate my friend Lyndsey- her amazing company went live with their website yesterday and its my sincere hope you check it out!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sunday Fritatta

I have a new recipe... who is shocked?!  So the blog is now about recipes and Lena!

On Sunday I was in the mood for a yummy breakfast...and this is what i came up with... the beauty of it is- that you can add or subtract virtually anything.... so I will give you the basics and you can go from there!

Sunday Fritatta

chopped/diced lean meat (I used canadian bacon and turkey bacon)
diced onions (green or red are best - or both!)
diced green pepper
minced garlic
cheese (i used swiss- i just chopped it up)
eggs (i used 4- add or subtract depending on servings)
seasonings (i used salt, pepper and jack stacks all purpose seasoning)

Beat eggs together - and season with salt and pepper. In a non stick skillet- warm up a teaspoon of oil- canola or olive. When warm- add meats and veggies - saute for 2-5 minutes- to get the flavors out- I also lightly peppered and seasoned with my all-purpose Jack Stacks seasoning...

Next add a layer of cheese of your choice- it can be shredded or chopped up into small cubes.. I selected a low fat swiss for this mix...use a fork to mix all the ingredients - and form an even layer on the bottom of your pan.

Immediately after adding your cheese - pour your beaten eggs over bottom layer and cover
Cook for 12-15 minutes-done when the eggs poof up a bit and become firm.
Remove cover and allow to sit for a minute or 2 - top with diced green onions and parsley and serve!
The leftovers to freeze well - and can easily be reheated in a microwave.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Two Tired Dogs

Lyndsey and I painted yesterday... and that means the 2 pups spent the day together... playing, being naughty, playing and playing.. they did take a little breather though- and I had to share...

Its so fun having a friend that has a dog that can play and keep up with Lena! She was so tired last night she went right to her kennel- and this morning was not interested in coming out- she just wanted to sleep! 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Spicy Turkey Chili

So last night I heard the weather was supposed to take a turn for the cooler temps - none of that white stuff yet - THANK GOODNESS!!! The one great thing about living in KC is that the amount of snow is much less than that of the northern tundra I like to call Iowa.

That being said- I made some spicy turkey chili last a request- here is the recipe. Now- remember- I am a dump, pinch of this, maybe some of that kind of cook- I despise recipes...I generally use them as a guideline - so I hope my recipe writing skills are better than my following skills!  Hey mom- Dad will like this... you don't have to tell him its turkey!

Spicy Turkey Chili
½ lb ground turkey
1 whole green pepper
½ White Onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
I can petite diced tomatoes and green chili’s
1 jalapeƱo – unseeded
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 packet of chili seasoning (I took the easy way!)
Red Pepper Flakes
Other Seasoning
*I used: Salt, pepper, chili powder, dash of oregano, cilantro and parsley

Brown ground turkey in stock pot with garlic and onion. Add green pepper and simmer. Add the remaining ingredients- bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Meat simmering with peppers/onions/garlic
Finished Product

I served this with shredded, low fat cheddar cheese and low fat sour cream


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pesto Hummus Chicken Breasts

Last night I created an amazing dinner that I must share!! (For you Kristin!)

Pesto Hummus Chicken Breasts
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Athenos Pesto Hummus
1 wedge Lite Laughing Cow Garlic Herb Cheese
1 or 2 slices of white cheese- I used reduced fat smoked provolone- but motz would do equally well

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
Season Chicken- however you like- I used salt and pepper, Tastefully Simple Garlic Garlic and a little Jack Stacks Seasoning Salt
In bottom of a baking dish – spread ¼ of the Athenos Pesto Hummus – place chicken breasts directly on top. Then spread Hummus on top of chicken (amount may vary- I used a tablespoon per chicken breast) then spread Laughing Cow on top – Side note- in hindsight- I would have mixed the hummus and laughing cow together before I spread it on the chicken- probably would have been easier!  Finally I sprinkled a little basil and oregano on top of the chicken. I also drizzled balsalmic vinegar over the entire dish- not a lot.

Chicken before covered and put in oven

Cover baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes- until chicken is cooked but not firm. Take out pan- Turn oven on to broil - remove foil- place cheese on top of chicken and place back in oven until cheese is browned- roughly 3-5 min. Let sit for 5 min. Serve and enjoy. I topped mine with parsley and a little more fresh cracked pepper.

Finished Dish!

Afterwards I thought some crushed red pepper flakes might be delish with this dish with pepper jack cheese on top.
Red Onion or Shallots might also pair nicely with this- diced and mixed with the hummus.

I served the dish with a nice greeny salad- with radishes, cabbage, red onion and low fat sharp cheddar cheese and balsalmic vinegar dressing.

I also paired the chicken with fresh asparagus .
To make the asparagus – I chopped off ½ inch off the ends, laid them in a single layer on a cookie sheet, drizzled with 2 tablespoons of olive oils – seasoned with fresh minced garlic, salt and pepper and a little lemon juice. Put in the oven on broil until cooked- roughly 5ish minutes- keep an eye on them! (sorry- didn't get pix of this one!)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fall Wrap-Up

So- for those of you that don't know- all the photos you see on my blog are via the Blackberry lens! And last night I began to realize that the memory card is filling up! Time to do some photo clean up...

Welcome to the hodge-podge of my blackberry photos!!! I am going to attempt to put these in some sort of sequential order!!!

Tyler, Cory, Lyndsey and I had a pretty epically fun night out at a Habitat for Humanity Fundraiser- followed by some bar hopping in Westport- clearly fun was had by all!
Oct. 21st

This year my boss took a few of us to a Chiefs game- great seats! Complete with tailgating and an Elvis Sighting!!! We watched a GREAT Chiefs Win!!
Oct 24th

Now for a few birthday pics... you can see more on Facebook- courtesy of Lyndsey!! But a brief wrap- up on the birthday: IT WAS AMAZING! We traveled to Extra Virgin, then on to 801 and a final at The Quaff! It was epic and so much fun. Too many shots - well- maybe that's worded wrong- A LOT OF SHOTS!! My name made it on the Quaff Birthday Board: "April Iowa Zobel"!! My cake from the Quaff was Jello-Shots and a candle. But the best part of the day- were the amazing friends that celebrated with me!

Lynds, me, Sherri and Steve

Neighbor Kelly, me, Lynds and Rita - such sweet friends! Kel brought a cake and balloons- and thanks to Lyndsey the balloons were clipped to my pants for the remainder of the evening!

One of the best friends a girl could ask for...and my partner in crime!

And finally- the best birthday cake!

Let's move on to some more random photos!!! The birthday clearly was wonderful... but I've equally enjoyed the amazing fall this year- fun times with friends from all over and amazing weather!

Recently my "little brother" from back in the Itown days moved to the KC area - Tyler is a great kid and good friend. We have so much fun together- its like old times hanging with him. We spent a great Saturday at the Other Place watching the HAWKS kill Michigan State- great day. Oh- and check out that sweet Koozie wrist band! 

 Tyler rocks the pink!

And finally- lets get current - this past weekend I spent Friday night with a best friend who came to town. We went and saw Due Date- hilarious! Then we moved on to Harrah's - we played some blackjack- and I'm proud to say that I WON!!! We then ventured to the Quaff and caught up- apparently we were celebrating my birthday STILL!! I'm not complaining! Thanks Duder! 

And then Saturday Lena and I packed up and rolled north to see the boys. Kegger and Football watch party! It was so great to see the crew again- oh how I've missed them. Lena was such a good girl- she made new friends and played nice!

Lena loving on Mark and Autumn! I think she stole a few hearts!  

I also was super surprised and got to see Emma and Miss Molly- oh my gosh how amazing it was to spend some short - but oh so sweet time with them. I adore and treasure them so much. Amazing weekend! Thanks everyone!

WHEW!!! Blackberry is cleaned up and I feel better - hope you all do too- now that you are caught up on my life's adventures! 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lena and Friends

I feel like I should rename my blog to "Life's Adventures with Wiggle Butt"...
For those of you that have not experienced the Wiggle Monster- I apologize- I wish it on everyone! She can turn any bad day around.

So- yesterday was one of my fave fall days this year. I got off work and promptly leashed up Lena and out for our walk we went- when we neared the park in our neighborhood we saw Devon and Kingston playing with a beautiful Golden Retriever - now- Lena likes big dogs... she is not quite a fan of the little kids... so she instantly was ready to play. For nearly and hour Lena played with the "big dogs".... she ran and ran... she would take the stick they were all munching on and let them chase her. I like to call her my little hussy - she teases the boy dogs so bad... she will run up to them- wiggle her butt in their face and then make them chase her... such a riot!

Lena and her pal Kingston

It was a beautiful fall afternoon- leaves and sticks on the ground - I in my vest and scarf (who's shocked?!) Lena in her purple collar - we had the most wonderful time. She is becoming quite the social butterfly - again- who is shocked?!

After we got home last night- Lena munched on a rawhide and played with her toys for a bit  - but was out by 9 p.m. - sound asleep! Needless to say- we're going to the park again tonight!

For those of you that don't see if often- she does nap sometimes! And her napping with another dog was something I thought would NEVER happen!!! We've come along way in 3 months!

Lena and boyfriend Hank snoozing!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween from Lena

I am going to let the pictures speak for me today...
October is officially over...but it ended on a high note. Lyndsey and I dressed up our little Boston's for some Halloween fun...the trick or treaters loved them and everything they did was cuter while in costume! I wish you all could have seen the 2 hot dogs chasing each other around Lyndsey's house. It was so much fun. And for anyone wondering- (Aunt Barbie) - they left the costumes on for nearly 3 hours...neither one tried to get them off! So fun.
Thanks Lyndsey for letting us crash your house for Halloween and making yummy chili!!! Cheers!

Lena and Hank in Costume!

Climbing on the furniture in their costumes!

Too much Candy...errr playing for this girl!

This one kills me!

Such a sweetie...looks so innocent doesn't she!?

In her signature pose...

"I'm an angel!"

The kids playing... we had to have their leashes on so we could corral them when the kids came to the door!

Lena liked her costume so much she wore it on the ride home... she was a sleeping dog minutes later!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I love Shoes

I love shoes. I love everything about shoes. I love how shoes can change your outfit, can change your mood, can change how you feel about yourself... I LOVE shoes!

So today is my 28th Birthday...and about 4 years ago I started a new tradition for MYSELF. I bought Birthday Shoes. Why? Because I love shoes! And I wanted a pair of Giraffe print Steve Maddens so bad I could taste it. But they were expensive- and impractical... but it WAS my birthday! To this day- they are my most favorite pair of shoes - they are now torn, tattered, weathered and beaten... but I still have them... they were the FIRST! So the following year I bought dark purple, alligator print Jessica Simpson Peep Toes. Last year I sported a pair of cobalt blue, suede Steve Madden Peep Toe Pumps. Its my thing.. Its something I truly look forward to. 

You see- Birthday Shoes are shoes that you wouldn't normally buy. They CANNOT be practical...Cannot be a pair you NEED. They have to speak to you- they have to be FUN...and make you feel like a million bucks! Its a hunt- but when you find them- you just know!

This year came around - and I have been so busy... I've actually had a pretty spectacular social life- and the Birthday Shoe shopping fell by the wayside. But yesterday at work- something kicked in...I felt it in my bones- I HAD to go find the pair... its tradition...its what I do... So, after work I went on the search - I found them. The perfect pair of Birthday Shoes! They were nestled in amongst other beautiful shoes- but there they were- in all their Snake Skin glory...and gold heel... a pair of glorious BCBG Pumps!
So here is to year 28! I look forward to the opportunities and excitement this year will provide! I am not a huge fan New Years Eve- its like an amateur holiday.... and so my New Years is my birthday -its like 2 holidays in one! Lets hope these shoes bring me good luck!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bad Dog

Last night I had a date - yes- a date. And before we talk about said date- we need to talk bout the aftermath!
Lena has been so good lately.. .so I thought- since I was going to be out for a few hours-  I would leave her out. Now- I have done this before and she has been an angel. But I have a feeling that she sensed my happiness and became fearful that I might be gone a few more nights... so - in her devious nature - I walked in to find my apartment looking like this:
Another look

Not sure if she went through my laundry- but that's my bedtime tank top... and a lot of stuffing...from her Tigger toy and she also managed to rip the head off a stuffed Halloween Black Cat my mother gave me... which is now in the garbage... sorry mom....

Here is the black cat: and the culprit...standing in her mess...

Lena is now relegated back to her kennel. You give them an inch and they take a mile....

and yes...there WILL be a second date- weather Lena likes it or not.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Beauty of Fall - via the Combine!

As a kid, growing up in northern Iowa - I can honestly say I didn't appreciate fall and all its beauty. Harvest didn't intrigue me. I really didn't care... I was merely concerned with the next volleyball game or where we played football that week! But now- as an older, wiser adult (funny!) - I have grown to appreciate all the beauty of the Harvest season. Well- and the fact that I work for a company that leases and hauls combines doesn't hurt!

That being said- a good friend of mine at work is on the road the entire harvest season and sends me pictures of random parts of the world. This years pix included south Texas, middle of boring Kansas and even a few where he sunk a Case Combine in Minnesota!
But today's entry comes to  you from my old part of the world...IOWA! My friend sent me pictures from the view of his combine as he helped one of our customers finish up his harvest... I found the pictures breathtaking and reminded me of the simplicity in life...

I love this one...

The sun starting to set on the fields... BEAUTY

And here it is...the glorious colors in the sky!