Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jobless, but Hopeful

Since moving to Alabama in mid June, I have been jobless!! I used the month of July to finish my Master’s degree but since then have been left watching Good Morning American, TLC, and HGTV, and let me tell you there is only so much cleaning and cooking I can do!

It’s not that I haven’t been trying. In fact I have been on the internet for hours every day emailing, applying, and stalking principles! I have my degrees in music education and quite frankly, our schools are quite poor right now on top of the fact that I moved here just a month before school began.

Thank goodness my NWH (newlywed husband) has a great job and is not worried in the least bit for be to become employed, but I am a mover and shaker! I have to work; I don’t know any different!

Today, I thought would be a turning point. I had an interview at a school! When I arrived I noticed the lady checking my name off of a list of interviewees a mile long. I definitely wasn’t the only one hoping for a position.

I entered the room and was asked a series of 3 or 4 questions such as “How would you set up your classroom?” “What are some teaching strategies you use?” “What make you a great teacher?” I answered them intellectually, trying to allow my personally to shine.

Finally one of the interviewers asked me if I had any questions. So I asked if there were any available positions. The male interviewer took the reins and answered, “Well, uh, no… not at this time.” There is was. I had dressed in my most professional attire, mentally prepared myself, drove 20 miles, and answered all the questions, for a nonexistent job!

I try not to take all of this personally, but it’s very disheartening to know that I worked so hard and having nothing to show for it except a framed degree.

This made me think of the famous “Footprints” poem, and I thought it would be a perfect time to share it with you and remind anyone else going through a tough time to allow God to carry you.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Pizza Pizza

The Monday after we returned from our honeymoon, my newlywed husband and I moved six hours away from our hometown to northern Alabama. He was offered a job and has been working like a dog since he started, putting in 60 or even 70 hours a week!

Tonight he is out-of-town with work so I decided to try out homemade pizza! I’ve wanting to test the recipe for months and have had all the ingredients for weeks; but every time I offer to bake one NWH (newlywed husband) always protests that Marco’s is so delicious and he wouldn’t dare want me to have to cook and clean all night.

Using Martha Stewart’s pizza dough mix, a small can of garlic and herb Hunts, shredded mozzarella, and pepperoni’s I made a homemade pizza. It was very tasty and quite easy to make, but I must agree with my NWH on this one. Why make a homemade pizza when Marco’s is so delicious, and I wouldn’t have to clean!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Newlyweds Can Save $

I absolutely love Victoria’s Secret! Unfortunately for my husband, Vicky's (as I call it) fills my closet more than it fills the top drawer of our dresser. Not only do they have trendy "now" pieces, they also keep a catalog full of classic items that never go out of style.

You must imagine my excitement when I received my new fall magazine filled with glossy pictures of new wardrobe potentials. As I thumbed through the pages I was caught by surprise when I saw “the shirt dress fit for duty” on page 12. “I have this!” I screamed to my husband. Mine, however, didn’t come from VS nor did it cost 78 dollars.

I got mine off the infamous $7-$10 dollar rack at TJ Maxx and love it all the more after seeing its twin on the beautiful model.

Who said a newlywed doesn’t know how to save a little dough??

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Nashville Cookies

My husband and I are going to Nashville today to visit his family.  I'm not sure why I always feel the necessity to bring something (anything) when I am visiting others, but I do.  My mom may be the one to blame, she'd just whip something together.  It could be the simple fact that I am from the south, and we always seem to travel with food. 

Because we are traveling some distance and let's face it, I'm no Paula Deen (yet);  I am going to make a tried and true cookie receipt.  These treats are awesome!  No measuring flour, baking powder, and salt either!  In fact, all you need is a box of yellow cake mix, a few other minor things!  Try them (you won't regret it)!

Here's what you'll need:  a box of yellow cake mix, 2 eggs, a half of a cup of vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons of water, and 1 cup of chocolate chips.

Now, empty your cake mix, half a cup of oil, and both eggs. into a mixing bowl.  Follow this link for an quick and easy demonstration on how to crack eggs.  http://startcooking.com/blog/35/How-To-Crack-Open-An-Egg

Add the two table spoons of water.  Now, I read in my Paula Deen cook book to never use a regular eating utensil to measure teaspoons and table spoons when baking, but I measured mine and they are exactly the same, so just test yours out.


Mix everything in the bowl together.  Another really great wedding gift we received, the Kitchen Aid electric hand mixer, makes mixing alot faster; but if you don't have one just use a spoon and your wrist. 


Finally, add the chips!  I only used 1 cup but if you like yours extra sweet then add as many as you want!

Spoon your cookies onto a baking sheet and place them about 2 inches apart (these little things will spread a bit).  They'll be a little sticky so just use your finger to push them off the edge of your spoon.  P.S. My mother-in-law gave me these "no burn" cookie sheets. Go buy them right now; they are totally newlywed proof! 

Pre-heat your oven to 350.  Make sure at least one of your oven racks are in the center of your oven, and place the cookies inside.

Turn your oven light on and watch them closely.  They should only take about 8-10 minutes to cook.  Remember these are from yellow cake mix so they'll be done when they turn slightly yellow.  Don't wait for them to golden brown or you may burn them!

While they cook, I'll put up the dishes from last night.  Oh, you see this mat thing that my dishes are setting on?  It is the best thing in the world.  I got it from Bed Bath and Beyond (not as a wedding gift) and absolutely love it! Another, newlywed must!

Okay, spells like cookies.  Looks like they are done!  Yum, enjoy!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tacos Gown Fancy

To set the stage, I should mention that my mother is known for her talent in the kitchen. Not only did she grow up cooking for two sisters, she's a dietitian (which means she cooks and plans meals for a living). Basically the woman knows how to make anything taste great! I have witnessed her take 10 random ingredients, put them in a pot and feed an army.

With her talent, there was never a need to help in the kitchen growing up. I did try once by pretending to be on the Food Network. I made a pot of chili and acted like the TV cooks by adding a little dash of this and a little pinch of that; after it was finished I think I all but emptied my mom’s spice rack.

These first few months of marriage have really challenged me and forced me to practice in the kitchen. Now tonight’s menu is just tacos, but wait till you see how I've learned to turn a simple meal into an oh so elegant dining experience with a few presentation tricks!

The only things you need for a taco dinner are the following:

1. Skillet for browning the meat and mixing the seasoning. We received the Emerald's pots and pans as a wedding gift and I absolutely love them!

2. A collier for draining the meat.

3. A box of Old El Paso taco dinner kit (my husband likes hard shells and I like the soft so we get the box with both!)

4. The extras: lettuce, tomato, sour cream, cheese, taco sauce, etc.

5. Utensils for stirring and serving.

Now, just follow the directions on the box. Don't forget to drain the meat, and I learned this one the hard way...you can't drain it in the sink. It's grease and it must be drained over the garbage can.

Once your meat is brown and you've added the taco seasoning, cover your pan at let it simmer on low. The longer the meat sets in the sauce the better the tacos taste!

Another wedding gift we received that takes even a o dinner to the next level is this pewter 4 section serving tray. Put all the "extras" in this tray. I put this on the table that way my husband and I can make our own tacos the way we want them!

Setting up the dining room is easy with a few things. Because I have a round dining table, I use round place mats on bottom followed by round silver chargers and then round "midnight palm" plates. A chocolate napkin on the right side of each setting along with a fork completes the table setting! See how fancy tacos can be!


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