Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fab Find: The Polar F^ Heart Rate Monitor

First off, I have to say how proud of myself that I am.  I started exercising again in October and have stuck with it for seven whole months!!!  (Pat on the back for me!)  For my birthday, B got me this awesome heart rate monitor by Polar USA, the F6.  So simple to use, I just strap a monitor around my chest and strap a watch to my wrist each time I work out.  I went the sensor on the monitor down, click the button on the side of the watch a few times and it monitors my heart rate throughout my workout.  But it not only monitors my heart rate, it calculates how many calories I have burned – which is awesome when it gets nice and you can be outside again!  I have found that certain things that I didn’t think would burn much, actually burn much more and certain things don’t burn as much as you thought they did!  I have also figured out that the calorie counters on the machines at the gym?  Yeah, not accurate at all.

When you first get your monitor, you enter in a bunch of information about yourself, height, weight, age – everything.  Then that information paired with your heart rate determines how many calories you have burned during exercise.  (Machines at the gym do not take into account your height and your heart rate when calculating how many calories you have burned, thus its inaccuracy.)

B got my monitor off of eBay for about $90.  A little pricy, but these things can get up to $500.  If you want to get really into it, you can download your information from your watch to your PC and track your progress.  (I am not that into it… yet.)  When I first got it, I wasn’t sure how much I’d actually use it, but I have actually found that it encourages me to work out more because I want my calorie burn to be higher!  Totally recommend this for every one!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Because my life is not crazy/hectic enough, I decided to take on a second job waitressing/bartending recently!  I waitressed/bartended for 4+ years in college and shortly after and always loved it.  The money is great and I just love socializing with both the regulars and newbies.  Recently, B & I went to this little bar called Shuey’s in this little town called Shueyville (near where we live).  I fell in love!  I overheard them say they were hiring, so I filled out an application and started the next week.  It’s just a couple of nights a week, which is perfect because I work full-time (and more) during the day.  But it’s so awesome having a little bit of extra cash (hellooooo shopping!) and getting to meet some new people.  It truly is fun for me and I thoroughly enjoy it!

So if you’re ever near Shueyville, stop in for the best tenderloin you’ve EVER had and a cold one!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Fab Find: The Nikon D3000 dSLR Camera

Holy cow guy, I am in love… This time for real!  I have always loved photography… Love, love, love pictures of anything and everything.  They say a great photographer does not depend on the camera, just like money can’t buy happiness… But it helps!  Enter my new dSLR camera – the Nikon D3000.  I was originally going to go with one slightly more expensive, (the model ran me about $700 with two lenses and a four-year service plan from Best Buy) but decided since it was my first, and I am definitely an armature, I’d start of smaller.  I don’t know if I could be any happier with a camera!  This camera is so easy to use and takes crystal clear pictures.  The settings are incredibly easy to use and it’s just FUN to have!

My next Endeavour is to read the D3000 for Dummies book… It’s gotten great reviews and I am ready to dig in a little deeper than just the preset settings.  So far the pets have been my subject as it’s just getting nice enough (and dry enough) to get outside again in Iowa, so then I can get some outside shots (my favorite.)  Below are a few of my favorites since I’ve gotten the camera – enjoy!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Southwest Egg Rolls

I got this recipe from Sister's Stuff (LOVE their blog BTW - they have some awesome, simple recipes.)  I tweaked it a little for our taste (the recipe below is with my tweaks)... The avocado ranch is soooo good!  I'm a huge avocado fan and am so happy they're coming back into season!!!

This recipe actually made quite a bit so it would be good for a family recipe.  I love leftovers because it twice the meal with half the cooking, so it worked well for us too.  Enjoy!

  • 1 lb chicken chicken tenders, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, minced
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small can green chilies
  • ½ T parsley
  • ½ t cumin
  • ½ t salt
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Flour Tortillas
  • Avocado-ranch dipping sauce:
  • 1 c. ranch
  • 1 whole avocado, mashed
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • Salt & pepper
  • Blend together with blender
Cook chicken and dice.(I actually dice the chicken before I cook it because it cooks faster and I don't burn my fingers trying to dice cooked chicken...) In large bowl mix all ingredients together. Sauté all ingredients until warm. Remove from heat and add shredded cheese. Warm tortillas. Place ½ c. or so of mixture inside a tortilla. Fold completely together so mixture cannot escape. Place inside a panni grill or George Forman to grill and melt cheese. Serve with dipping sauce.

Sisters Stuff
Sisters Stuff

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I Never Win Anything... Until Now!

I never win anything.  Ever.  Even when there are ten prizes for eleven people, I will now win.  So, imagine my surprise and elation this past Tuesday when I was notified that I won a DROID!  (For my not-so-technologically-savvy readers, a DROID is only the coolest new phone on the market.  Similar to the iPhone, but on the awesome Verizon network.)

To win my DROID, I entered a contest that I saw on Twitter.  Basically, you had to follow a guy by the name of Pek (click here to follow him youself) and retweet a hashtag that he had created.  (For those of you who do not use Twitter, I had to post a certain link.)  I am not sure how many people entered the contest, but I clicked on the hashtag (link) after I won and it looked like there were quite a few people.  

I have to admit, when Pek messaged me on Tuesday to let me know that I won, I was a bit skeptical that is was a scam.  He asked for my address to ship me my phone, so, to be on the safe side, I had him ship it to work.  I figured if it was a scam, he could do a lot less damage with my work address rather than my home address.  :)  Low and behold, it was NOT a scam and Pek is a pretty awesome guy!  He has a pretty interesting blog, which just happens to feature a post about yours-truely if you want to check it out.

To make this whole thing even better, I have wanted a DROID since I first heard about them in October.  I love having the latest phones and was hoping and praying that Verizon would get the iPhone sometime this year.  Since they have come out with the DROID, it is obvious they have no desire to play ball with Apple for the rights to sell the iPhone, and honestly, now I don't care.  The DROID is freaking awesome with LOADS of free applications.  In fact, I may do some posts about my favorite apps sometime soon... The stuff that phones can do now is just amazing - does everyone remember using their parent's bag phones in the early 90's and thinking they were the coolest people ever!?  :)

Anyway - huge shout-out to Pek and thanks again for my new phone - I love it!  If any of you are considering getting one - DO IT!  You won't regret it.  As for me, I will now be entering ever contest I see from now until the day I die. :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Snowy Shoes Solution

I saw this on today and HAD to share!  One thing I HATE, HATE, HATE about winter is when you come in from outside with snow on your shoes.  You have one of two options, take them off and leave them on the rug or take them off and leave them on the linoleum.  Either way, something that is not suppose to get wet, gets wet.  Then if you step on it with your socks, you have wet socks.  Well, enter this Martha Stewart solution:

Make a boot tray by the door even better: Fill it with stones (found at garden centers). Ice and snow will melt and drain through the rocks to the bottom of the tray so your boots won't stand in a puddle. Most of the moisture will evaporate, but you should clean out the tray regularly.  You can view the whole article here.

I am not sure how I will do this with the animals in our house... I can see the cat finding it amusing to take the rocks and hide them and the dog will think that they're treats.  If anyone has any suggestions on how to keep my animals out of this, I would love to hear them! :)

Happy Birthday to Me

This post is a little late... Only a week late though!  Last Thursday I celebrated my 27th birthday (ah!)  I used to LOVE my birthday.  I was excited all day, I was one year closer to some kind of milestone (21 was probably the one I was MOST excited for) and everyone treated you extra special during the day.  Now... Well, now that I can pretty much legally do everything except apply for Medicare and Social Security, birthdays are kind of just another day.  I think I need to have a kid to dote on and have fun with their birthday.  

However, I did have a great day on my birthday.  B got  me all sorts of stuff, a new heart rate monitor, PJs from Victoria's Secret and some bath stuff.  My parents took us out to eat.  I made cupcakes and proceed to eat most of them by myself and lots of people wished me a happy birthday (thanks to social media.)

It was kind of fun to look back at the last year and think about all that has happend:

  • I got to spend my entire 26th year with my best friend B
  • We got a kitty
  • We also got a puppy!
  • I moved back to the town where I grew up
  • B & I moved into together
  • Went to Arizona twice
  • I was asked to be apart of two different friend's weddings.
  • I decided to go back to school for my MBA
  • I learned to knit
  • I discovered my love of DIY projects
  • I took on a lot of new responsibility at work
  • I discovered that I am actually a pretty decent cook if I try
  • I became much more domesticated - which is weird
  • I bought my first car on my own (this actually happened at the end of January 2009, but it's close enough)
  • Learned how to use Twitter
  • Helped roof a house
  • Helped renovate a house for that matter
There are probably a million more, but that's about all I can think of for now.  Thanks to everyone who wished me a Happy Birthday!  It's cliche, but I have the best family & friends EVER! :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy 50th Birthday Don Hommer!

This post is a little belated, but my wonderful father recently celebrated his 50th birthday!  To celebrate this milestone, my family rented out the Grand Master Suite at Riverside Casino and Golf Resort and invited about 100 friends and family to come down for some food, adult beverages and a little gambling.  I would say that the event was a hit - everyone we talked to had a great time.  A ton of our family was able to make it from south-central Iowa and lots of people from our hometown as well.  I think my dad was very surprised at the turn out, but it's always nice to be reminded of how many wonderful friends my family has made in our 20+ years in Mount Vernon.  


So, I wanted to apologize to all of my readers for my negative Old Navy post (which I have removed).  I wrote the post to get Old Navy's attention - as a marketer in the 21st century, I feel it is extremely important to use social media to find out what your consumers are saying about your brand.  Sadly, Old Navy is not that progressive and my post did little more than to make me look like a two year old throwing a tantrum.  In retrospect, I should have posted that post on a separate blog as it totally does not fit the tone of my blog.  So, from now on, you will only get positive updates on my life as well as my fab finds, recipes and DIY projects (which, I have had zero time or money for lately!)



Friday, January 22, 2010

Life with Puppy: Six Months

I can't believe my little baby puppy is going to be six months old on Saturday!!!  I tell Bryan all the time, JD is the best investment we have ever made!  He is so much fun to have around has so much personality!!  To date, he has only destroyed a down-alternative comforter which is fixable and a strap on a Camelback that Bryan bought me, which is also fixable.

JD is proving to be very much a people person, LOVES meeting new people and new puppies as well.  I weigh him in weekly and as of this week, he weighed in at 57 pounds!!!  (It's kind of fun because our Wii Fit has a "Pet Profile" section, so we entered both JD and Wrigley under there.)  He doesn't quite comprehend how big he is yet, he still thinks he is a tiny little puppy.  He's fun to when he plays with other dogs because he has learned to "box them out" (like in basketball).  He puts his little butt right in their faces and pushes them back until he gets to toy or whatever he is trying to achieve.

He's also hilarious to watch run - he runs with his butt down.  At first we always thought he was scared, but now he just does it all the time!  It's the weirdest thing.  Another weird habit is his need to suck, yes suck, on blankets.  A lady at our puppy class said it's because he never had a mama dog and so he does that as security, but he'll take his paw and "knead" the blanket like a puppy kneads a mama pup's belly to get milk. (Side note: Bryan's parents dog nips on blankets all the time and she too did not have a mama pup.)

While he is pretty much crate trained, he still prefers sleeping in our bed (a bad habit that I started when he weighed 20 pounds.) Every night he will jump into our bed and I'll let him lay there until about 10:30 and then he knows it's time to get in his kennel.  The minute he hears an alarm in the morning though, he rattles around in his kennel until we let him out and then he runs and jumps back into our bed where he'll go right back to sleep.
JD is also loving the snow.  I wish I had a better camera so I could capture it out side, (that is next on our wish list is a nice SLR camera.) Although temps have gotten down to negative 30 this winter, the cold doesn't phase him at all!  He'll still run and run in the back yard.  I can't wait for the summer when we can take him swimming and hiking.      

Monday, January 11, 2010

New 'Do



Fab Find: The Magic Bullet

Get your mind out of the gutter - this is the best blender EVER.  Yet another Christmas present from Santa (aka, my parents,) I requested the Magic Bullet to blend my morning protein shakes that I always drink.  I usually either make a smoothie and toss in some protein powder or make Carnation instant breakfast and add a scoop of protein powder.  Either way, protein powder needs to be blended in REALLY well in order for you not to taste it.  I had been using a regular blender, but it was cheap, loud, annoying and messy.  The Magic Bullet is super easy to use, it is made for one serving of drinks, but you can also make dips, desserts, sauces and all sorts of stuff in there!  I especially can not wait to make salsa this summer.  And guacamole. Mmmm...

It's a little on the pricey side - around $50, but totally worth it.  You get all sorts of attachments and a recipe book with it, so I say it's a good deal.  It's especially geared towards health conscious peeps and those who are watching what they eat/drink.  

You can find more information at their web site:

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fab Find: The Slanket

I am always cold.  Always.  I run my space heater at work in July (and I get a lot of crap for it.)  I have no boundaries when it comes to what I will do to stay warm.  I will wear long underwear, spend $200 on a winter coat, wear dorky snow boots - anything.  

I am sure you have all heard of the Snuggie.  When I first saw a commercial for it, I knew it was made for me.  I was going to ask for one for Christmas, but as I usually do, I searched for reviews on the product before I made my official request.  While searching reviews, I came across the Slanket.

The Slanket is a high-end Snuggie basically.  I immediately requested one from Santa.  Sure enough, Santa delivered and I am now the proud owner of a gray Slanket.  I have compared the Slanket to the Snuggie and I will say, the Slanket was well worth the extra money.  It is thicker, softer fleece and there is much more blanket.  The sleeves are also longer, which is slightly annoying, but nothing that a few safety pins can't fix  

Oh how I love my Slanket, I am actually thinking about getting a second one for work - like I said, I have no boundaries. :)

You can find the Slanket here:

Monday, December 28, 2009

Fab Find: Cuisinart Grind & Brew

Um... I've been slacking on the blog posts lately... Sorry!  I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas, Bryan and I sure did!!!  Our families were beyond generous to us!!!  I definitely got some very Fab Finds under my tree this year.  The first of them is the Cuisinart Grind & Brew coffee maker.  

Bryan is what I call a "coffee snob" and we can only drink freshly ground coffee beans, not the pre-ground stuff. I admit, the fresh ground does taste better, but the whole beans annoy me for two reasons.  1.) I find it the biggest pain in the ass to grind the beans in a grinder, and then transfer them to the coffee maker.  It adds a full two minutes to the coffee making process and I am far too impatient for that. 2.) They cost about $10/bag/week.  I am far to cheap for that.

Well, one of my annoyances has been alleviated. Enter Cuisinart Grind & Brew, the 12-cup PROGRAMMABLE coffee maker. (Our old coffee maker was not programmable, so this is very exciting to me.)  With this coffee maker, you put the water, filter and beans into one machine, press the button and *poof*  The coffee maker grinds the beans FOR YOU and then MAKES THE COFFEE.  ALL AT ONCE.  NO TRANSFERRING BEANS!

It's a little on the pricey side, $99, but I find it totally worth the investment that Santa made. :)

You can find this Fab Find here:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Recipe: P.F. Chang's Lettuce Wraps

As I get more and more domesticated, I am enjoying making good meals.  So, I am going to start posting recipes that Bryan and I enjoy for my groupies.  

P.F. Chang's Lettuce Wraps


  • 1 cup water chestnut
  • 2/3 cup mushroom
  • 3 tablespoons chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4-5 leaves iceberg lettuce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon hot mustard
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1-2 teaspoon garlic and red chile paste
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

  • Make the special sauce by dissolving the sugar in water in a small bowl.
  • Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil.
  • Mix well and refrigerate this sauce until you're ready to serve.
  • Combine the hot water with the hot mustard and set this aside as well.
  • Eventually add your desired measurement of mustard and garlic chili sauce to the special sauce mixture to pour over the wraps.
  • Bring oil to high heat in a wok or large frying pan.
  • Saute chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes per side or done.
  • Remove chicken from the pan and cool.
  • Keep oil in the pan, keep hot.
  • As chicken cools mince water chestnuts and mushrooms to about the size of small peas.
  • Prepare the stir fry sauce by mixing the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar together in a small bowl.
  • When chicken is cool, mince it as the mushrooms and water chestnuts are.
  • With the pan still on high heat, add another Tbsp of vegetable oil.
  • Add chicken, garlic, onions, water chestnuts and mushrooms to the pan.
  • Add the stir fry sauce to the pan and sauté the mixture for a couple minutes then serve it in the lettuce "cups".
  • Top with "Special Sauce".