Monday, September 29, 2014

2 years ago, my life changed forever

2 years ago, my life changed forever

It has been two years since my life was changed forever. 730 days since my best friend became my husband. 17,531 hours since I uttered those 2 words that would forever connect me with another person. "I Do." Today the hubs and I celebrate 2 years of marriage. 2 YEARS!!! I can't believe how fast these last 2 years flew by and how amazing they have been! We have accomplished so much and yet we still have our whole lives ahead of us. What could be more amazing than that?

There are a few ways to handle our anniversary in blog land. I could tell you the story of how we met, how the sparks flew and the journey unfolded, but you can read that here. I could also tell you all about the proposal and how amazingly perfect it was, but that moment will forever be between me and the hubs. I could tell you all about the wedding: the dress, the details and everything in between. But I won't. Instead I am going to list just a few of the reasons that I love him more than anything else in the world.

The way he stands 6 inches from the TV when the Lakers are playing

When he calls me "Love"

That he not only accepts my crazy OCD tendencies, but he goes along with them

The way he puts my feelings first, before anything else

How he loves me just as much in front of others as when we are alone

Now matter how much he hates it, he will always drive slower when I am in the car

For as many complaints as he has about my purple fleece blanket, he continues to put up with it night after night..just for me

No matter how insane of an idea I come up with, he will go along with it

The way he knows me better than anyone else, and has no problem calling me out when need be

The way that no matter where we are, I feel safer knowing that he is there

He has an endless supply of quarters for me and my vending machine addiction

The fact that he switched sides of the bed for me when we first met

His hugs and kisses always come when I need them the most

He will always have a center console full of receipts to wipe your face after you throw up

And the biggest reason of all?? He loves me for me. He loves my crazy colorful wardrobe and my obsession with Jeopardy. He loves the fact that I suck at sports and rock at board games. With every new tattoo or different hair color, he only loves me more. And for that, I am the luckiest person in the world.

Happy Anniversary Swick. I love you more than you will ever know <3

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Not your momma's meatloaf...easy peasy

Not your momma's meatloaf...easy peasy mouth is watering

Growing up we ate meatloaf every so often--maybe twice a month or so. My favorite thing to do was to mix together everything on my plate into one big pile of mush, then eat it all blended together. (Sounds delicious, right?) I think it was something about the combination of flavors all hitting me at the exact same time, and I think that is the inspiration for so many of my recipes. I absolutely hate bland food and I season EVERYTHING that I cook. I want you to be able to taste every seasoning and flavor I put into my food, and there is no difference when it comes to my meat loaf.

Most meat loafs have a few things in common: They are dry, crumbly and have very little flavor. Literally, a loaf of meat. Well ladies, I am going to share my very own meat loaf recipe with you today that is none of the above and will be SURE to please. I'm telling you, this recipe is literally melt in your mouth juicy and flavorful like you would not believe. And I came across it the best way possible---I made it up! Hope you enjoy!

P.S.---I am terrible at amounts and I usually just guess how much I'm putting in, so feel free to tweak to your own liking!

*Not Your Momma's Meatloaf Recipe*
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes

1 pound ground meat
1 egg
1/4 c breadcrumbs (give or take)
2 Tbsp Ketchup
2 Tbsp BBQ Sauce
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Dale's Liquid Marinade (usually used for steaks--but GREAT in burgers and meat loaf)
2 Tbsp A-1 Steak Sauce
1/2 c light brown sugar
Garlic powder, salt & pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375ยบ
2. Combine ground meat, egg & breadcrumbs in a large bowl.
3. Combine Ketchup, BBQ Sauce, Soy Sauce, Dale's & A-1 & brown sugar in a separate bowl.
4. Add HALF of the liquid mixture to the meat/breadcrumb/egg mixture & knead together.
5. Add salt, pepper & garlic powder (maybe 1/2 tsp of each) for flavor.
6. Form all ingredients into a loaf.
7. Using a basting brush (or your hands) coat the top and sides of the loaf with the liquid/brown sugar mix. Make sure to cover as much of the loaf as you can--the more liquid the better the flavor!
8. Cover and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

(**Another twist on this recipe is to cover the entire loaf with bacon prior to adding the liquid coating...the flavor of the bacon gets trapped inside the meat and is oh-so-delicious**)

So there you have it, the most amazing delicious meat loaf in the world. Seriously, even if you hate meatloaf, try won't be disappointed.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cruise Part 1---The Carnival Dream

Cruise Part 1---The Carnival Dream

So I know that I have been back from the cruise for like 2 weeks, and I am JUST getting around to posting some pictures, but things have been super busy around these parts! First, someone in my family announced something REALLY you would love to know what it was, right? Tough cookies, we will just have to wait until SOMEONE is ready to share his or her secret with the world....and if he or she could hurry it up that would be swell...

Anywho, back to the cruise. I am in the process of getting the pictures uploaded to my computer from my camera (and by that I mean my camera is still in my purse and I haven't even started), but in the meantime I am going to give you a little tour of the amazing ship. Once the boat leaves the Mississippi river there is zero cell phone signal, so our phones stayed locked in the safe all week. Lucky for you I snapped a few pictures before we set sail. This year we cruised aboard the Carnival Dream, and we were not disappointed. First of all, the ship was monstrous. Of course, the only comparison I have is the Carnival Elation, but whatever, this one totally takes the cake. Here are a few of the ship's highlights:

The poolside theater:
When we first saw the giant movie screen on Carnival's website, I thought "Wow that looks so awesome, but we probably won't spend any time on the deck watching movies." Apparently I was smoking something crazy to think that we wouldn't take advantage of the ginormous movie screen. Imagine this: In the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, the sea breeze blowing your hair wildly across your face (ok--not gonna lie, this part was a huge pain in the ass), a Daiquiri in your hand, all while watching TFIOS...yes, I caved and watched it before reading the book and OMG it was amazing.

The atrium:
The atrium on the Dream is absolutely stunning. There are several glass elevators that take you from the main floor to the tippy top of the boat. The entire thing is decked out in gold, mirrors and lights, and it is all topped off with a huge skylight. Being the main point of traffic throughout the cruise, we had plenty of time to take in all of the details.

This picture doesn't even do it justice--it was amazingggg

The water slide:
Ok, so technically we didn't go on the water slide this year, but from the looks of it, it was awesome. Twists and turns and loops all leading to a giant bowl, and all perched on top of a huge cruise ship. If you have kiddos of your own, or just want to act like a big kid, I would definitely recommend this ship over the Elation. P.S.--in case you have never been on a cruise, they fill the pools with salt water, NOT chlorinated water. I learned that the hard way last year when I came crashing down the slide with my mouth wide open. Awesome.

The mini golf course:
There is a full 18 hole miniature golf course on the very top deck, right next to the basketball court. Surprisingly, the course was empty for most of the week, only running into people once or twice. This was one of the few spots on the deck where it wasn't 450 degrees--there was a breeze coming from every angle and it was spectacular. And not to toot my own horn but I kicked the hub's ass at toot toot

Our room:
Not only was this my favorite favorite place on the entire ship, but this was where we spent a good portion of our time. Upgrading to the balcony room was seriously the BEST idea ever. (Read all about how we scored a great deal on the room here). Considering the seas were pretty rough for most of the week, and considering we lost way too much money in the damn "Casino Vault" game, we found ourselves ordering room service and vegging in the room most of the week. And let me tell you--it was perfect!

Ugh sorry the room pic is so dark guys!! And we were still in port here--our view was much better during the actual cruise!

I swear I will upload Part 2 soon which will have the rest of the pictures from the cruise and the islands!!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Survival Kit 101

Survival Kit 101

Today I was invited by the lovely Alexandra, the community manager over at Man Crates, to talk about my must-have survival kit. "Man Crates" is an AWESOME new company that specializes in gifts for the wonderful men in our life! And get this---all of the gifts come packaged inside a custom wooden crate!! I don't know about your hubs/father/brother, but grillin' supplies, bar-b-que sauce and beer, all served up in a manly box?  Sounds like the perfect gift to me! And the best part?? Each box comes with its own crow bar to pry the bad boy open! Check out there website here. I promise you won't be disappointed!!

In honor of the manly crates filled with some of the coolest products (seriously guys, one of their boxes is called the "Zombie Annihilation Crate" and comes with everything from a machete to Twinkies), I am going to share with you 5 of my must have items. So, without further ado...

Untitled #1

1. My cell phone
Two weeks ago we went on a 7 days cruise to Mexico, and it was amazing. The salty air, the sea breeze, the complete disconnect from the rest of the world. Ok, that last one is complete B.S. Do you know how difficult it is to NOT have the ability to Google something? Or how about when you see a dolphin out in the middle of the water and you want to send the video to your sister back home? Well guess what, you can't. Over the past 5 years or so I have gone from picking up my cell phone every few hours to send a text to relying on my cell phone 100% of the time...for everything...the time? a mirror? camera? radio? communication device? flashlight? You name it, there's an app for it.

2. Chap-stick
So you know when it is really cold and windy outside, and your lips start to burn a little bit? And then you lick them and they start to burn just a little bit more? Well that is how my lips feel 24 hours a day. I have been biting and picking at my lips for as long as I can remember, and now they are permanently chapped.  On an average day, I reapply chap-stick (Soft Lips cubes to be exact) about 15 times. This is not including the 4 times a day that I apply Vaseline to my lips. If I even start to think about my lips being dry I immediately have to reapply or I will go into complete panic mode. Completely normal, right?....

3. Redbull
Oh the sweet taste of Taurine, glucose and caffeine. My morning is never complete without an ice cold Red Bull. Sure, there are the obvious health risks caused by drinking energy drinks--rapid heart rate, seizures, caffeine toxicity--but I swear those warnings go right out the window when I taste that first sip each day. OMG guys there was NO Red Bull on the cruise. ZERO cans. Do you even understand how hard that was for me? I literally stopped at the first food stand I saw within 5 minutes of getting off the boat. Amazing...

4. High heels
There is nothing that I love more than getting all dolled up, putting on a face full of make up and slipping into some 6 inch stilettos. Are they comfortable? Not even a little bit. Do I enjoy the blisters that are constantly forming on my toes from being crammed into the smallest space possible? Absolutely not. But you know what? I am 5 foot 1 inch tall, so none of that matters worth a damn. With heels, I can pretend to be 5'6, and let's face it...there are legs, and then there are legs in heels. Which one do you think your hubs would prefer? Beauty is pain ladies!

5. My debit card
Quick much money is in your wallet right now? Wanna guess how much is in mine? $3.00. Just enough to hit up the vending machine at work a few times a week. There is nothing I hate more than carrying a ton of cash. (ok, I lied...there are a lot of things I hate more than that...but for argument's sake let's just go with it...mmmmm-k?) Anyway, who wants to carry cash nowadays? It takes up more room, it takes longer to pay with, and if you get robbed you are basically screwed. I use my debit card for EVERYTHING. Literally, the other day, I spent 36 cents on my debit card. Cash sucks, and I don't know how I would survive if someone took away my debit card.

So what about you ladies? What would be in your survival kit? Make sure you head on over to Man Crates Gifts for Men and check out all of their amazing survival kits---the men in your life will thank you!

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Friday, September 12, 2014

I'm back.....finally...

I'm back.....finally...

Hey ladies! I know I have been completely absent from these parts for awhile but I swear, I have good reason(s).

Ok, so as you know from reading my last few posts, we went on our cruise last week!! 7 days of sunshine, amazing food and tropical islands. It was amazing and beautiful and oh so relaxing, and I can't believe it's over. I would love to say that I was so incredibly relaxed that I couldn't bring myself to write a post. Or that I was still cruising down the Gulf of Mexico after extending my vacation to two weeks. Sadly, this isn't the case. Here's the real scoop from the last few days.

Sunday morning--We were all but pushing people out of the way to get off of the boat. We had an INCREDIBLE time on the cruise, but let's face it...when a vacation is over, it's need to linger in the halls or fart around for 3 hours on the boat. Just move your ass and quickly disembark. After standing in line with 4,000 other people, swiping your ship card and showing your passport 20 times and then dragging through customs, its harder to get off the damn boat than it is to get on! After what seems like forever, we were finally on solid ground with a 3 hour car ride home..

Sunday afternoon--What better way to welcome us home than with an insane thunderstorm. Lightning striking the bottom of our street, thunder that shook the house, torrential know, a usual occurrence for good ol' Florida. We were slowly coming to the realization that A) Vacation was officially over and B)We had to go back to work the next day...ugh welcome home..

Sunday night--Yes, this is still the same day guys. After finally plopping down on the couch for a little R&R (which by the way, I am not entirely sure what this & relaxation is my best guess..), we discovered 3 things.

1st: We had no internet. Our modem just stopped working. Awesome, right?

2nd: While we were away on our exotic vacation, some sweet little sugar ants decided to take up residence in our kitchen...After using our awesome detective skills, we located the source of the little bastards. A 3 foots by 3 foot (not even joking guys) ant hill out back. If you are not from around these parts, that seems completely unheard of. Unfortunately we are all too familiar with huge hills down here. To the store we went to buy every spray/pesticide/trap imaginable. One hour, a gallon of bleach and 50 clouds of toxic fumes later and I think we got 'em.

3rd: Not only did some critters get into our kitchen, but our fur-baby apparently looked mighty tasty to some fleas! Poop guy, he was so itchy!!! Luckily, the hubs found some kick ass flea shampoo and he is good as new!

Monday was boring...

Tuesday was AH-MAZING---hellooooo, SoA????? Welcome back Mista Teller, I've missed you this past week!

Wednesday and yesterday have been spent counting down until the weekend.

And that brings us to today's post...I know what you guys are thinking...she goes MIA for 2 weeks and THIS is what we get as her first post back?!? Wellllll since my internet is still down I am forced to post this from the confines of my desk at work, and it would be a huge security breach if I plugged up my good old memory card to upload pictures. So you will jsut have to wait until next week to see the beautiful ship and everything that came with it.

So glad to be back in the blogging world!!!!

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