Wednesday, August 31, 2011



2.  Don't Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin- 
this song can put me in a good mood no matter what is going on!

1.  Tripping Billies by Dave Matthews Band- or really anything by DMB!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


3.  Sweet November

2.  Forrest Gump

1.  Christmas Vacation

A Taste of 2Johns

and the Cub too....There is a restaurant here in town named 2Johns that is one of mine and Jon's favorites.  They have a steak on their menu called Steak Au Poivre which is a pepper crusted filet.  It is A-MAZING!  Jon decided to look up a recipe on how to make au poivre sauce and try it out on Sunday night.   It turned out wonderful!  My Jon gave 2Johns a run for their money!  I will now have a hard time paying for the steak when I know that my awesome husband can make me one!  I contributed to the dinner by making au gratin potatoes, using a recipe from a restaurant here in town named the Cub (they are supposedly known for these au gratin potatoes).   I must say that they turned out really good as well.  Overall it was a fabulous dinner!
the steaks (still raw)

the peppercorns after my husband got to them

searing the steaks

catching the brandy on fire

making the au poivre sauce


Steak Au Poivre Recipe
(courtesy of Alton Brown of the Food Network)
4 tenderloin steaks, 6 to 8 ounces each and no more than 1 1/2 inches thick
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/3 cup Cognac, plus 1 teaspoon (my husband used Brandy and it turned out great)
1 cup heavy cream

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour prior to cooking. Sprinkle all sides with salt.
Coarsely crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle, the bottom of a cast iron skillet, or using a mallet and pie pan. Spread the peppercorns evenly onto a plate. Press the fillets, on both sides, into the pepper until it coats the surface. Set aside.
In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil. As soon as the butter and oil begin to turn golden and smoke, gently place the steaks in the pan. For medium-rare, cook for 4 minutes on each side. Once done, remove the steaks to a plate, tent with foil and set aside. Pour off the excess fat but do not wipe or scrape the pan clean.
Off of the heat, add 1/3 cup Cognac to the pan and carefully ignite the alcohol with a long match or firestick. Gently shake pan until the flames die. Return the pan to medium heat and add the cream. Bring the mixture to a boil and whisk until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Add the teaspoon of Cognac and season, to taste, with salt. Add the steaks back to the pan, spoon the sauce over, and serve.



MRI = Me Reaching Insanity

So I went to the hospital on Thursday morning when I got off of work to have the MRI/MRA done.  I had heard stories of people getting claustrophobic while having a MRI done.  I also was warned about the loud noises the machine made.  I felt I was prepared for what was about to happen.  After I removed all of the metal I could, I realized I have a metal permanent retainer behind my bottom teeth.  I immediately thought "this machine is going to rip out my teeth!"  The Rad Tech assured me that would not happen and it would be okay.  I laid down on the tiny "bed" and the lady told me that she would put some head phones on and asked what type of music I preferred.   I told her that country music would be fine and she proceeded to put massive tight ear muffs on me that played country music that sounded as though it was coming from a far distance.  As soon as she did that, she then pulled a metal cage over my head that I felt was almost touching my face.  I started breathing a little faster at this point.  She then pushed my "bed" into the small tube aka MRI machine.  I really started breathing fast!   I never realized I was claustrophobic until this moment!  I almost went in to panic mode, and if you know me, you know that happens once in a blue moon.   I had to close my eyes and concentrate on my breathing.  The machine then started up and sounded as though a man were standing on top of that cage on my face with a jack hammer!  Holy Moly!  I said some prayers and continued to concentrate on my breathing and apparently put myself right to sleep!  I woke up about 25 minutes later to the lady telling me that she was about to pull me out of the tube and that it was time for the contrast.  She poked me in the arm and apparently inserted the dye.  I think I was still half asleep.  I then had to go back in the small tube for approximately 8 minutes and listen to some more obnoxious noises and, voila, I was done.   In the beginning I thought I wasn't going to make it through it, but with will power and exhaustion, I made it through and even caught a nap in the process.

I went back to the doctor Monday and all of my lab work came back normal and the MRI/MRA was clear.  Now we are trying different meds to try to get these headaches under control.  Hopefully we will find something that will work!


4.  Anything by Nicholas Sparks (how could I pick just one of his books?)

3.  The Help by Kathryn Stockett  (I know this is a new book, but I really did like it! It is now on my list of all time favorites...obviously :)  )

2. Oh the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss

1.  The Bible

I truly love to read and it is really hard for me to pick out just a few of my favorite books.  I like to read so much that I just recently got a group of girls together for a "book club."  It's really to help inspire us all to read books we may not normally pick on our own.  I'm a sucker for hopeless romantic books, and I know that I need to branch out, so hopefully this will help me.

Friday, August 26, 2011


5.  bread pudding- I always thought it looked disgusting, but once I tried it, I fell in love!

4.  dill pickles- the sour the better! don't even think about giving me one of those bread and butter ones..YUCK!

3.  chicken spaghetti- love it!

2.  red beans and rice- and add a little Tabasco! DELISH!

1.  chips and salsa- I could eat it every day, multiple times a day!

This was actually really hard for me because I love to eat and I am not a picky eater! :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011


The following are six places Jon and I want to travel to and a few things we would want to do there...

6.  Boston, Massachusetts
-watch a game at Fenway Park
-take a tour
-visit Harvard

5.  Napa Valley
-drink wine
-drink more wine

4.  Greece
-take a tour/go sightseeing
-eat authentic Greek food

3.  Chicago, Illinois
-see Lake Michigan
-watch a Chicago Cubs game
-take a tour/ sightsee 
-eat a pizza

2.  Canada

1.  Any beach in the Caribbean Islands
-lay out on the beach

By the way, if you are planning to travel somewhere you have never been before I suggest you check out this site.  It is full of useful information!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


7.  I want someone to pay my student loans off for me.  I had to take out student loans to pay for my college (and I probably took out more than I truly needed).  I would have so much more extra spending money if I didn't have this bill!

6.  I want Jon and I to travel more before we have children.  There are quite a few places I still want to visit, but I'll have to talk about those in 'six places.'

5.  I want a swimming pool.  I love the sunshine and I love to swim. What better way to enjoy these two loves than a swimming pool in my own backyard?!

4.  I want to buy Jon an old Jeep.  He has owned 2 Jeeps in the past and loved both of them.  I have always wanted a Jeep!  He now wants a Jeep that is older but has been refurbished.

3.  I want a job where I work during the day.  I would love to have a normal sleeping schedule.  I feel that I will stay on nights until Jon and I start a family.

2.  I want to stay married until 'death do us part."  The divorce rate is so high these days, it's scary!  I've learned that you are to put God 1st, your spouse 2nd, and yourself 3rd, and I really try to live like this.  I have great confidence that Jon and I will be an old married couple!

1.  I want these headaches I've been having to go away!  Today marks day #20 for having a headache.  Nothing seems to help them.  I went to the doctor this week, and I'll go back next week after I have a MRI.  Hopefully we'll get something figured out soon!

Where has my optimistic self gone?

I don't feel like I am the type to worry.  I always seem to deal with the problem at hand and take things one at a time.  I do like to plan, so when things come up out of the blue I am a little taken back, but I still continue to go with the flow.  No need to get yourself in a panic, because that seems to only make things worse.  Lately I have to keep reminding myself that I am like this.   On August 5th at around 2 AM, I was awoken by a terrible headache, quite possibly the worst I have ever had.  At the time I didn't think much of it.  I got up, took some Advil and drank some water and got back in bed.  It took a while, but I was able to go back to sleep.  Every day since then I have had a headache.  I have been maybe 3 hours at a time that I have not had a headache at all, otherwise I have a constant pressure headache.  Every other day just about, I get another splitting, terrible headache.  I have not found any medicine that can make it go away.  Jon wanted me to go to the hospital the morning that it woke me up, but I refused, thinking it would just go away.  It obviously has not gone away.  I finally made a doctor's appointment and went on Monday.  They gave me a shot of Demerol and Phenergan that was supposed to "knock this thing out."  Well all it did was knock me out, I slept and slept and slept.  When I finally woke up I still had a headache.  I had blood work drawn, and then more blood work drawn because some of my original blood work was "abnormal."  Apparently my TSH level is high, which would indicate hypothyroidism.  I had a repeat TSH drawn along with a T4, to determine if I really do have hypothyroidism. (I will find out those results tomorrow) Another reason I could have a high TSH is if I have a tumor.  I will have a MRI/MRA in the morning, that will let us know if I have a head bleed (which is what Jon originally was thinking), a tumor, or some other abnormality.   I then will follow-up with the doctor this coming Monday.  Until then I have been instructed to take Ibuprofen 600mg three times a day...that is a lot of Ibuprofen, and it is not helping!  Throughout the past 20 days I have been relatively calm about all of it.  Now,  I am starting to freak out inside a little.  I don't like not having answers.  I know that I am on the way to having an answer, but what if it's something bad?   Why am I thinking like that?  I am never pessimistic, or negative, or worrisome.  Why now?!   I am constantly reminding myself lately that if God will lead you to it, He will lead you through it.  I must stay strong in my faith and believe in Him, and know that he has a purpose and a meaning for all of this.  I also have to find that optimistic, positive, hopeful person that has gone in to hiding inside of me and bring her back to life again!  I will post results/answers as I get them...

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  -Isaiah 41:10


8.  I fear that I will not be the mother that I need to be.  I fear that I will fail my children (of which I do not have yet).  I hope and pray that one day I will be able to be a mother and that it will be everything I envision it to be.

7.  I have a fear of bugs.  I know that I am a lot larger than them, but I feel that they are way more powerful than me.  Spiders give me the creeps!  Bees make me scream and run.  Roaches and water bugs give me chill bumps.  I am so afraid of bugs crawling in my mouth and ears when I sleep! AHH! (I promise my house is not infested with bugs!  We have Orkin come to our house monthly to spray because of my fear!)

6.  I have a fear of heights.  Although I have been skydiving and parasailing, I am still afraid of heights.  I feel as though my stomach drops and then I feel nauseated and dizzy anytime I am too far away from Earth!
attempting to give a thumbs up while skydiving

5.  I fear that one day I will get breast cancer. (I wrote about that in my 'secrets' post)

4.  I have a fear that one day I will be extremely overweight.  This fear has not yet made me anorexic, so no worries yet.  I love to eat!

3.  I fear that something bad will happen to Jon when I am not with him.   I am obsessive over telling him I love him before he leaves, and I always want him to let me know when he makes it where he's going.

2.  I have a fear of escalators.  I will ride them, but I have to wait to step on quickly at the right moment.  When I was a child my foot got caught in the side and ripped my shoe to pieces and cut my pinky toe up, that is why I have this fear.

1.  I have a fear of public speaking.  In college I had to take a speech class and I thought it was going to be the death of me.  I made A's on the actual written speech, but I made a C in the class because I cried every time I got in front of the class to speak.  Awful!

Monday, August 22, 2011


9.  I love lazy Sunday afternoons.  You come home from lunch after church, put on some pj pants, curl up on the couch, maybe even catch up on some shows on the dvr, and have no real responsibility.  It's always nice when a good afternoon shower graces with it's presence, makes napping much more enjoyable!

8.  I love baking!  I have a great big sweet tooth, so being able to make goodies to satisfy that sweet tooth is always a plus.   It doesn't matter if it is a cake, cupcakes, cake balls, pies, cobblers, cookies, etc.  Although, I am not the best at cookies yet, but practice makes perfect, right?

7.  I love makeup.  I am not one to really experiment with my makeup, but I really like different eye shadows.  My most recent purchase is Lorac 3D Mascara.  It was recommended to me (or else I would not have spent $20 or so on it), and I love it!  I have also recently started buying some of the elf products at Target after reading reviews on other blogs, and I am satisfied so far.

6.  I love sweet tea. Maybe it is because I grew up in the south, but dinner just isn't complete without some sweet tea!  I try to drink unsweet tea and use artificial sweetener, but that doesn't even compare.

5.  I love going to the dentist.  I have never had to have major dental work done, so until then I will enjoy having my teeth cleaned every 6 months.  I love how clean my mouth and teeth feel when I leave the dentist!

4.  I love sleeping on the couch.  (I just need a bigger couch so my husband and pups can fit on it with me)  I love to curl up on my favorite blanket on the couch and fall asleep (this usually happens on a nightly basis while watching TV).

3.  I love Charley and Annabelle! They are the sweetest puppies ever!  I love when Charley is in the mood to cuddle and he will come and curl up next to me and keep me company.  I love Annabelle's sweet personality, she always wants everyone to feel so loved, so she freely passes out her wet kisses!  They bring so much joy to my life!
caught in action
snuggled up
2.  I love my husband!  Jon is my absolute best friend and the greatest thing in my life! 

1.  I love God!  He has definitely blessed me with more than I could ever dream of and I am so very thankful for that.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I have seen this on quite a few other bloggers pages and decided to jump on the bandwagon.....

10.  I was a huge tom-boy growing up. In fact I always had a long chili-bowl hair do! I loved to build 
things and one Christmas I even got a tool set from Santa.

9.  I have a bad habit of biting my fingernails, although I go through phases where I will stop for about a month.  I have tried the nasty pepper stuff you paint on your nails, but I will just peel it off and continue to bite them.  Once I grow my nails out where you can actually see "white" on the tips, I have to get manicures often or else they will be bitten off!

8.  I hate peanut butter! (This is most likely not a secret to most people)

7.  When I was younger I wanted to play the drums until my sister told me that girls who played the drums were lesbians. (I think she thought that because she loved the Indigo Girls-jk)

6.  I own a gun, but I am not very good at shooting it. I need a little practice, but hopefully I will never have to use it for protection!
    5.  I frequently have stinky feet.  My feet don't sweat a lot, in fact, they are cold often, but for some reason they don't mix well with some shoes and they form an odor.  I own some Dr. Scholls foot deodorant for this very reason.

    4.  I love ice cream!  My favorite ice cream place is Marble Slab, but I will take ice cream from anywhere.  When we go to Marble Slab I usually order sweet cream with strawberries mixed in! YUMM!

    3.  I want a big family.  I would love to have 4 kids and see my kids have lots of kids! I dream of having big family get-togethers and taking family pictures where everyone has to squeeze in.

    2.  I have a fear that I will one day have to fight breast cancer.  I have a strong passion for breast cancer research.  I try to always support the Susan G. Komen foundation.  I have such a big heart for those that have fought or are having to fight breast cancer.
    1.  I have had every color hair!  I was born with a head full of black hair, then it fell out and I grew back whitish blonde hair.  I have had blonde hair most all of my life.  In an attempt to dye my hair brown one time, my hair was accidentally turned gray.  And of course the latest fiasco was when my hair was turned bright red and to fix that, now it is brown. 

    Saturday, August 20, 2011

    Burnin' Up!

    I don't know how much more of this heat I can take?!  We have gone 46 days with the temp over 100 degrees!  I love summer, but I don't know about these southern summers!  You walk outside and can't breathe and instantly start sweating.  The heat has caused pretty much all the plants to die.  The grass has to be watered often, but it still doesn't seem to help.   I have also noticed that every day that I turn on the news they are reporting about some sort of fire.  The other day a truck was dragging a chain that sparked and caught the grass in the median of the interstate on fire.  I had taken Jon some food at work one night and was headed home and noticed smoke all in the sky.  The next day they reported that a house had caught on fire and burned completely up.  That very day I was heading home from work and saw smoke in the sky that looked as though it was coming from my neighborhood.  As I got closer to the fire, I was quickly relieved when I realized it was not in my neighborhood, or anyone's neighborhood for that matter.  It was in an empty field, but apparently was only 30 yards from someone's house.  How scary!  I have always had a fear of my house catching on fire and losing everything inside.   It made me think of what I would save if I were ever in that situation.  If I only had time to gather three things, what would they be?  (I want to clarify that my husband would be able to save himself so that is why he is not on my list.)

    First I would rescue my dogs.   They are my pride and joy, and I would be devastated if I knew they burned up in a fire!   They bring so much happiness to our lives, so they would be saved first.  Second,  I would grab my phone.  I know that sounds crazy and materialistic, but my life somewhat revolves around my phone!  I don't know hardly anyone's phone number by heart anymore.  I don't know what I am supposed to do tomorrow without looking at my calender.  My nook books are also on my phone.  I use the alarm clock on my phone.  And of course I can't go too long without playing a word on 'Words with Friend' or 'Hanging with Friends' or else it would forfeit me and I would automatically lose! :)  Lastly,  I would grab the photobooks I made of all the years Jon and I dated and the photobooks from our engagements, my bridals, and our wedding.  I love pictures! I always try to do my best to take as many pictures as I can and then put them into books so that when we are older we have them to look back on.    What are the top three things you would save?  Oh and if you get the chance, do a little rain dance, we are desperate for some precipitation around here!

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    How much is too much?

    **warning: rambling to follow**

    have an aunt who whenever she poured anything for you she would say "Say when." My aunt would say "say when" and of course, we never did. We don't say when because there's something about the possibility of more. More tequila, more love, more anything. More is better. -Meredith Grey

    This quote definitely applies to me and my life right now.  I feel that I have recently started lots of new "ventures" and I pray that I am able to juggle all of them and my personal life without difficulty. 

    One of the reasons I decided to be a nurse was because I liked the idea of having numerous opportunities within the nursing field.  I am the type that likes to learn and expand my knowledge base.  My first job in nursing was in the area of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology.  I LOVED it!! I would not have left if I had not been homesick and 3 hours away from home. When I moved back home I started working in a Pedicatric ICU, and I really do love it!  One common denominator is the fact that I work in Pediatrics,  I don't think that will ever change.   Working with children is my passion and definitely my calling! At the beginning of this year I signed up for a PRN job and just recently started actually working.  It is a home health type job in which I work with pediatric hemophiliac patients.  I have only had one day of working with this company, but I think I will really like it.   I will most likely work once a week for them.   On top of that, I have been working another PRN job.  I have been working for a local nursing agency helping out in a Pediatric GI lab.  I like this job a lot too.  It's different from what I do full-time.  Lately, I have been working one day a week in the GI lab to help out while another nurse is out on maternity leave.  Basically I will be working my full-time job, which is 4 days one week and 3 days another week, then I will work one day a week with each PRN job, so that means I will be working 6 days one week and 5 days another week.  What was I thinking?!  It's not because I'm in a monetary bind.  Maybe I'm addicted to work, just kidding!  Really though,  I think it's the idea of broadening my horizons and gaining as much knowledge as I can.  
    As if I am not busy enough with working, I just recently decided to volunteer at our church and help teach the 4 year old Sunday school class every Sunday (including the weekends that I work!).  This is actually something I have always wanted to do.  Forever growing up I wanted to be a teacher and teach kindergarten or first grade. Then I went in to nursing and of course decided to work in pediatrics.   Once Jon and I started attending the Baptist church I told him that I would love to help out with the kiddos.  I never did pursue the idea.  This week I received a call from the Preschool Director at our church who was given my name by someone and felt I was called to help with the 4 year old Sunday school class.  I was so excited!  I talked to Jon about it and told him how I felt about it and then decided to do it.  I am a little nervous because I don't know what to expect.  I grew up Catholic so the Sunday school thing is a new experience for me, but I know that God will not lead me to something that I can not get through.  I pray that I will be the type of teacher/leader/example that these 4 year olds need.  I always pray and ask God to let me have a positive impact on at least one child during my lifetime in which they will know how much they are loved and how much potential they have in this world.   I know that I have had quite a few role models during my lifetime and if it weren't for them I may have turned out a totally different person, and I am thankful for those people and the impact they had on my life!

    I {heart} NOLA!

    As I mentioned in a previous post (maybe even 2), we went to New Orleans this past weekend for the Red Dress Run.  We had a blast! To recap the weekend...
    Friday- We left a little later than planned because one of the guys in the group could not find his wallet when he went to leave his house.  We made a detour to the DMV before heading down south, because he had to have an ID to truly have fun in NO!  Then we were delayed with all sorts of traffic between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.  (Apparently the Saints first preseason game was on Friday night, so everyone and their mother, including us but without our mothers, were headed to the Big Easy)  Once we got there we went to eat at Luke, "an authentic brasserie on St. Charles Avenue."  It was wonderful!  Jon and I had been there before and loved it then, so we decided to share the love with the whole group.
    {Josh and Alissa @ dinner}

    {Me and the Hubby}

    {Jacob and Lucy}

    {Jon and Adam}

    Everyone seemed to like dinner.  Some people's portions were a lot larger than others, for example, Jon ordered some sort of pork ensemble that came with TONS of food and I ordered shrimp and grits and it was not so much.  I was still full and satisfied when I left there though!  After dinner we went to Bourbon St. to show Josh (Jon's friend/co-worker) what New Orleans was all about.  He had never been partying in NOLA before.   We stopped at quite a few places, but ended up spending most of the night at Pat O'Brien's dueling piano bar...SO FUN!
    {Jon and Josh decided they needed a cigar}
    {silly husband!}

    {sweet couple!}

    {1/2 of the crew}

    {other 1/2 of the crew}

    Saturday- That was the big Red Dress Run day! We dragged ourselves out of bed and to Washington Square about 9:30 AM (which came real fast after the night out).  The hubby wasn't feeling too hot (well actually, he was feeling hot being as it was about 100 degrees outside).  We listened to a couple bands play, ate a little food, and drenched ourselves in sweat.  After a few hours of that, Jon and I decided to go back to the hotel, cool off and rest, in hopes that he would feel better soon.  

    After a little AC and a nap, he was feeling much better! We went and grabbed a bite to eat at Johnny's Po-boys, which I must say was a hole in the wall but quite delish.  That night we hit the town again.  Alissa (Josh's girlfriend) and I picked up some way cute headbands at a store on bourbon before we all headed over to Frenchman Street to hear some live Jazz music. 
    {see our way cute headbands!}

    {I had to have a "huge ass beer"}

    After Frenchman St. we caught a cab back to Bourbon and ended the night with watching a little karaoke.  It was very entertaining to say the least!  
    Sunday- We headed home, but first stopped in Baton Rouge so the guys could play a round of golf and the girls had a little retail therapy.   I am not normally a big shopper, nor do I ever find things that I just have to have...but that was not the case on this trip! :)  I found a super cute cardigan type top that I had to buy because it was only $11! Who would pass that up?  I also remembered I had a Victoria's Secret gift card, and once I was there I found a LSU jersey that I couldn't leave without.  Then at Sephora I bought mascara and some self-tanning wipes.  I haven't tried the wipes yet, but when I do I'l let you know how I feel about them.  I did try to mascara and it is amazing! Thanks for the recommendation Alissa!  {on a side note- I was contemplating buying the Bare Minerals Starter Kit because I have heard great things about the makeup.  So I asked the sales person, who happened to be a dude, what it was all about.  Here is how the conversation went...  dude: "you can get it in Original or Matte"    me: "what's that mean?"     dude: "the matte makes your face have a matte look and the original looks like you aren't wearing makeup"     me: "so I would probably want the matte?"       dude: "it's whatever you want"     me: "well  I need something with a decent amount of coverage"     dude: "then you don't want this"   alrighty least he was honest!  He then proceeded to tell me that my eyes were in bad shape because I did not wear a cream!  WHATEVER DUDE!  long story dude should know about makeup}  Last stop of the trip was to eat mexican food in Lafayette.  In case you didn't know, I LOVE MEXICAN FOOD!  I really think I could eat it every day!  That may have a big part in my terrible acid reflux...oh well! :)  So our trip to NOLA was so much fun!  It was nice to get out of town for the weekend and hang out with some new friends!  I {heart} NOLA!