Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Money Pit

Oh yes! You know the movie a vintage Tom Hanks and Shelly Long who buy their first home and it becomes the money pit!!! Watch this old trailer.......... you must watch it to know how I feel.....

Ok, now before I unload let me preface this by saying Matt & are so lucky to be 28 and own a home in a nice neighborhood, sometimes it is hard to loose site of the good things in today's society where there is this pressure to have everything NOW! And I would be lying if I said I don't get envious of other people's homes it is human nature!!
But all in due time (Matt's words to live by).....
Now, let's get back to the Money Pit you see Shelly Long? I feel just like her at times!! The straw that broke the camels back and prompted this post is that some of our outlets have stopped working... NO JOKE! Our garage door will not open or close so it is awesome parking outside and would you believe it that the outlets in my bathroom that I get ready in EVERY morning don't work!!! So please picture this... I have to run an extension cord from the hallway to blow dry my hair and flat iron it each morning and it makes me want to scream!!!!!!! I am sure at least one of you reading this right now is thinking "well call an electrician and get that junk fixed" Well that requires money doesn't it?????? We have been saving, saving, adding my birthday money (tear) to the pot to re-tile and fix my shower which is on it's very last leg and now this will have to be added to the end of our list, oh ya we have a list! For one our fence is sooo jimmy rigged outside it cracks me up but we have to do it so Abby doesn't get out! Imagine this we even have posted up little kid fences the kind that separate rooms well we have them lining our fence, it is soo funny! We bought the money pit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And from the outside it looks great just like the movie above but it is everything you can't see that makes me cry myself to sleep at night! I could set up a pay pal account and you all cold donate? HA- I KID I KID!
You are prolly wondering what's the point of this post and it is simple to vent in a funny way because what can we do? Two songs come to mind right now.....
"She works hard for her hard for it honey......."
"Everybody's working for the weekend........"
We have come along way and I am so proud of Matt who is learning as we go..... we have replaced the AC, re-done the floors, repaired our water main line to the house, landscaped from scratch ourselves, painted, ripped out carpet, and the list goes on & on....... I promise our house will be worth double when all is said & done!! ha!
The tag line in the movie sums up Matt & I....
" They have got what it takes, and it will take everything they got."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Weekend

Well this will be a bit of a random post, just a overview of my weekend! For starters my brother, Curtis flew in from Virginia this week!! It has been since Christmas since we were all together and it was great to see a movie, have dinner and share some laughs!! Love you Curtis! ps.. in case you don't know Curtis is training in Quantico as a Marine officer!
Matt played in a golf tournament all weekend and yes he asked if he could and I said sure, but next time he asks to be gone on a holiday weekend I will say NO!! I missed him! So yesterday we spent all day together doing yard work, having lunch, going to the movies and enjoying the yard with our dogs! This picture I thought Matt looked so cute and you can't see it here but his eyes match his shirt!
While we had lunch on the patio table the dogs relaxed in the shade, here is Oscar hoping for some food to make it his way!
Matt was mowing the yard and I made a YUMMY lunch and set it all up on the table!! I enjoy cooking for my loved ones! We had my "Gourmet Whiches" and then fresh cantaloupe with homemade dip and fun juice drinks! It was a perfect backyard picnic!
Nicole's Gourmet Whiches (Loosely adapted from Real Simple magazine)
- Get 1 French bread and toast in the oven at 400' for around 5min
- Spread with butter and chopped up garlic to taste
- Sprinkle with Asiago cheese
- Then add prosciutto on both side of bread
- Then lastly add fire roasted peppers in between the layers of the prosciutto to keep bread from getting soggy!! Then ENJOY!
Here is Ralphie and I thought his smile here was adorable! Notice Abner is missing from some pics, he spent alot of the day snoozing on the couch..... He had a rough 2 days which included 2 seizures!! My poor baby!
THEN, last night Matt & I grilled out!! Yum.... Matt made grilling baked beans and Brats!! You can't have a Memorial Day without a cookout! And we are still loving our new grill!

Matt & I "toasting" to a good day! Notice I am the household photog and therefor I am in no pics! ha! And I told you all before who puts on make-up or looks cute on the weekend? Not I!! HA!
Finally, our new purchase.......... we are not sure where in the yard it's permanent home will be but this is right after Matt put it together!! Now we can enjoy some of the lazy days of summer on our new loveseat swing!! We got a great deal would you believe it at Homeland!
Yesterday was great and unfortunately all 3 days of the holiday I had a Migraine, luckily yesterday's waited until bedtime! I won't dwell on the bad but Sunday was spent in bed! Go figure!

Nicole Knows Movies

First of all my friend Becky came up with the new name of my movie review posts, pretty clever I think! Thanks Becky!!
Today I am doing a head-to-head movie match up!!! Do I have a life outside of movies? Sure, but in a 3 day time span 2, 2 hour movies is nothing over the top! I went to see Night at the Museum 2 on Saturday with my family and then yesterday Matt & I went to see Terminator (insert Arnold accent here)!! Yes, these movies could not be more different but my reviews are completely different as well.... I am easy to please so for me to give a movie "renter only" status that is harsh! HA! Can you guess which movie gets this honor?
Night at the Museum, Battle of the Smithsonian
I love love love the first Night at the Museum.... I have watched it over and over and over it was the perfect mix of childish humor with a grown up twist BUT the sequel was anything but as good as the first! I will make this short & sweet....... If you are under the age of 10 this is the movie for you and you only! This movie is filled with so many big names and their talent was wasted, let me give you a example for me one of the funniest lines was when Jedediah (Owen Wilson) called Hank Azaria's Pharaoh character "Ramon Noodle" this is not a joke people, that line got BIG laughs. This movie was clever and had cute ideas with even the Einstein bobble heads coming to life but we were all under-whelmed!! My sister slept thru the movie if that tells you anything. I won't rent this when it comes out but if you have children under the age of 10 this is the movie for you!!!
Terminator Salvation
I was unsure about whether I really wanted to see this movie or not and Matt & I decided that hey it's a Monday and we are not at work and this has to be entertaining so let's give it a whirl! Now a days action/thriller movies tend to have comedy hidden thru out the movie like in Transformers but I will tell you this movie sticks to the true genre of hard core action and on the edge of your seat turns! This movie was GREAT! I was so stressed out thru out it because it was so intense who doesn't love it when a movie evokes so much emotion from you? This movie also made you think... you had to pay attention and use your thinking caps to understand what is what and who is who. You don't need prior knowledge of the other Terminators to enjoy this movie at all, Matt had not seen any of the others and he loved this movie and said he can't wait to see the next (yes, the ending is left open) This movie is about the machines and the action so the characters play "second fiddle" in the back ground but that did not bother me much. I am a Christian Bale fan and although he is the star of this movie for me his co-star newcomer Sam Worthington (pictured below) stole the movie for me!! If you love action and love being on the edge of your seat this movie is for you!! And yes there may or may not be a cameo from another famous terminator! I give this movie two thumbs up and I can't wait for another sequel!

Christian Bale & Sam Worthington

Ok, back to the daily grind huh guys? (yuck) I will post again later and let you know what else I was up to over the holiday weekend and I have a great "gourmet sand which" recipe to share!

Friday, May 22, 2009

May Give Away Pictures

Fun was had by all.......... Me & Two of my great friends Susan & Becky

The 2009-2010 Board Being Sworn in........... I DO!

Last years Board with their new gift!
Heather from the Children's Center accepting the grant!
All my Book Club Ladies!!!!
Susan & I ..... we won Miss Congeniality!!!
Great friends..... The 2009-2010 JH Board of Directors! Wonderful night at The Skirvin!
Beautiful room & Great food!
Just wanted to share these with everyone!!!!! I Hope everyone has a fun & safe Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

May Give Away

Tonight is the night! Its the end of the year Banquet for the Junior Hospitality Club and we call this event May Give Away! This is the night we give our grant check to The Children's Center and celebrate all the hard work we have put into this year! We are having it at the luxurious Skirvin downtown and it is nice to relax with good friends and good food to celebrate the year! We also introduce the 2009-2010 board of directors which yours truly will be on!!! I am going to be our Community Outreach chair, the jest of this is I set up and over see all monthly volunteer activities as well as our yearly grant! More on this later on!
This is the lobby of the Skirvin which I love!!! It is also in case you were wondering where I got ready for my wedding and stayed our wedding night!!!!
I have invited friends from my book club to be my guest tonight in hopes that come this fall they will join JH!!! Below is a wonderful video if you want to learn more about the Children's Center where we volunteered this year and who we are giving out money to tonight!!!
It is very inspirational!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Hello Friends!
Just wanted to share something exciting and tell everyone I am placing a SCENTSY order tomorrow and if you would like to order anything please let me know.
Tomorrow's order will include FREE shipping as well as a FREE Memorial Weekend gift...
ALL orders over $30 you will receive a FREE CAR CANDLE!!
ALL orders over $75 you will receive a FREE CAR CANDLE as well as a re-usable Scentsy grocery tote!!!!!!!

You can see all the products on my website...
Just shoot me an email at to order!! It is easy!!!
Feel free to pass this info on to friends and family!!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tube Talk......

I watched some good TV last night and thought I would share some of my excitement with everyone!! Yes, I am excited about TV and yes, I am that boring! he! First Up.......
Sunday May 31 is the MTV movie awards and no I actually never watch MTV but this year I will tune in because get this...... listen up you Twilight Fans....... during the awards they are going to debut a movie clip of NEW MOON!!! I am so excited!
AND speaking of New Moon, this is not a joke here it is folks the official New Moon movie poster! This is not a fan made one either this was released this morning!! And I am loving Jacob on the poster! Enjoy!
Moving on to something you guys are going to get so tired of me talking about this summer... the debut of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE!!!! The best show ever starts this thursday and you should jump on the bandwagon now, you will thank me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Did anyone watch the finale of Gossip Girl last night? It wasn't that last nights show was so amazing but it was all the little "hints" about next season that has gotten me all excited!! IE.. Georgina enrolling at NYU, Serena leaving for Fiji to find her dad, and a mysterious cute boy who I think is Dan's long lost brother! OHHhhhh the drama and how could I forget Chuck finally professing his love for Blair (my least fav story line, gag) Anyways, like the millions of tweens across the country I can't wait for fall and their freshman year! XOXO Gossip Girl! (yes, I really did just type that)

And I now want to introduce you to the best show you didn't know existed!!! Starting June 7 on Sunday is the new season of the Next Food Network Star, and in case you did not know that is how Guy Fieri was discovered! I love this show and the insane challenges but what I like best is getting to know the people who are just like you & me and then come fall watching their show on the network! If you enjoy the Food Network you will love this show!!!!!!!!!!
Oh how can I forget DWTS! Yes, I am too cool to spell it out for you! And unless your living under a rock then you know Tonight is the Night!!!!!! Tonight someone will take home the coveted Mirror ball trophy, and anyone know where can i get one of those??
As much as I am on the fence with Gille (below) kinda odd considering if you have seen Sex & The City the Movie you have seen ALL of him if you catch my drift! ;) But I think him & Cheryl deserve to win because Cheryl is the best teacher and choreographer on the show! I think she is so talented and her hard work pays off! So we will see!!!!!
And last and least the new season of the Bachelorette aired last night and even thought I don't love Jillian the drama, hot guys and over the top dates suck me in! So let the games begin!
Ok, well in case your wondering if I have a life? Well the answer is no! HA...... my tip is DVR everything, I have not watched a commercial in years!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Breaking in the Patio

This weekend the rain finally stopped and we actually saw the sun! And not only did we see the sun but it was beautiful! We got to break in the patio for the 2009 season! hehe! Saturday was a last min invite, we invited my mom & dad over for some burgers and I don't have any pictures! But I did try out a new recipe from my favorite magazine (below) and I made Bobby Flay's LA Burger (picture on the cover) and everyone raved! In fact my mom was still talking about the burger and sweet potato fries I made as the side this morning, so I wanted to share the burger recipe with you!! (Email me if you want the fry recipe)
L.A. Burger
Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay for Food Network Magazine
Bobby's Perfect Patty
Shape 6 ounces of 80 percent lean ground beef chuck into a uniform patty, no more than 3/4 inch thick (don't overwork the meat). Make a depression in the center with your thumb so the burger won't bulge; the indent will rise as the patty cooks. Preheat a grill or cast-iron grill pan to high. Brush the burger with canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden brown and slightly charred, turning once (7 minutes for medium-rare). Avoid pressing with a spatula! Add cheese for the last minute of cooking.

Your pick: Monterey Jack is a California favorite, but Bobby loves this burger with cheddar, too.

Avocado Relish (This is SOO YUMMY)
Avocado is one of Bobby's favorite ingredients. He mixes 2 chopped Hass avocados with 1/2 diced small onion, 1 minced jalapeno, the juice of 1 lime, 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, and salt and pepper.
Then just build your burger! We added lettuce, tomato and big piles of the avocado relish!! Delish!! Enjoy!
Below........we were excited to use our new grill!!!
On Sunday Matt & I ran errands, did laundry, worked a tad in the yard and then I made a favorite of ours my "Semi-Homemade S-getti" and we enjoyed it on the patio with the animals.
Here are my Tips/Recipe for a yummy spaghetti that tastes homemade but can be whipped up in no time!
1 lb Ground Turkey
Spaghetti Noodles
Prego Herb & Garlic tomato sauce
Minced garlic
1/2 cup red wine
Brown Sugar
pre chopped mushrooms (optional)
Easy How- To:
- In a skillet cook your turkey meat and all you add to your meat is pour the 1/2 cup red wine over it right away and then add 2 spoon fulls of brown sugar on top as well and cook until done. NOTE! since it is turkey and you added wine the meat will have a slight purple tint to it!
- Cook your noodles! TIP! while boiling add some Extra Virgin Olive Oil to the water and the noodles will not stick together!
- In a 3rd small pot cook your mushrooms in about 3 tablespoons of EVOO, and when the mushrooms are almost cooked thru add in 1 heaping teaspoon of garlic! TIP! Don't salt the shrooms because that will draw out moisture in them making them tough!
- Drain meat and return to pot, salt! Then add Prego sauce, add 1 more dash of salt and heat thru. TIP! Salt after each new ingredient and it will add layers to your flavor!
- When sauce is heated stir in mushrooms and garlic, mix well!
Then your done.......... you know the rest!! This recipe makes for a tasty & sweet meal!!
Matt is enjoying the weather & the meal!!
The dogs LOVE LOVE spaghetti noodles, here they are waiting patiently!!! HA!

Angels & Demons

Finally, is that what you are thinking? Well me too... I first posted my excitement about this movie this past October I believe and finally 8 months later I have the "Official Nicole Review" and that brings up another point, I need a snazzy name for my reviews something catchy so comment me your ideas!! Now back to the point at hand.........
Matt & I went to see the movie Saturday night and I was so pleased. This review is hard to write because of the fact that I read the book and in this case alot was left out, whenever that happens it is hard for me to turn my mind off during the movie and to stop thinking about the gaps in the story. But at the same time I go into the movie knowing this will more than likely be the case! I understand why so much was left out- if they have based the movie on the entire book it would have to be at least 4 hours. Now this movie was portrayed as a sequel when in fact Angels & Demons was written before the DaVinci Code! And one more gripe I have heard everyone saying "oh it was so much better than the DaVinci Code" yadda yadda but I ask what was wrong with the DaVinci code? I Loved that movie!! Moving on... the movie was wonderful, it was a on the edge of your seat thrill ride. I think it is fascinating that Tom Hanks character Robert Langdon is a "symbologist" and Tom fits the part of a well educated and worldly professor so perfectly in my opinion. Professional reviewers have said Tom Hanks character is too smart but that is the point isn't it? Someone who has devoted their life to the study of symbols and how they relate? Anyways.. Vittoria the female lead I enjoyed but would of liked to see her play a bigger part in the movie, I felt that they kind of pushed her character to the ways side. If you like scavenger hunts, history, religion and thrillers then you will love this movie. I loved how this movie took you on a joy ride thru the Vatican and thru out Rome. This movie was highly entertaining and I would recommend it to anyone! Enjoy!

ps....... I will have another post in a bit, I have not shared a recipe in while and I have a "Semi-Homemade" one you will love!

Friday, May 15, 2009

O Magazine

I just purchased the June 2009 Oprah Magazine (the cover picture above) during lunch and this month she focuses on animals and well hello of course I bought this issue! I spent the last 30min devouring the stories and saving the ones I know I will need a tissue on for later. She has a wonderful article called "What are they thinking" by Eugene Linden and it discusses a concept that may be new to many people but not to me. The article warms my heart and talks about recent scientific discoveries proving that animals not only show love but display compassion, reasoning and a desire to not only help one another but humans as well. The article lists many examples that prove that animals not only share the planet with us but co-exist with us. I would like as many people that can to read this article so your eyes can be opened if they are not already are to animals and their amazing capacity to show human emotions.
I have such a strong bond with all animals and my heart opens up more each day for them, I think that I was always like this but within the last years I have been able to express this more. God is so good and I know in my heart that he created each animal to be special and every creature has a purpose! This video below is one Oprah has on her website and was mentioned in the article and it is so sweet that while watching this 3min video a huge lump formed in my throat. This video really touched me and I hope it touches you in the same way on this sunny Friday afternoon!
( This video automatically starts I believe so be sure to start from the beginning and scroll down to the bottom of my page to pause the music)

Watch CBS Videos Online

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The First Apostle

This book is one of many in the new genre I have dubbed "Religious Thrillers" with the HUGE success of Dan Brown there is no wonder why so many new authors are racing to please the millions of readers who love a mix of suspense, history, conspiracy and religion. And I can say I have fully embraced this new genre as well as this book. When my friend Natalie recommended this book I was leery at first because whether I mean to or not I will be comparing this book to Angels & Demons and The DaVinci Code and those are big shoes to fill.

The premise of The First Apostle by James Becker centers around a couple who discover an ancient Latin text while renovating their centuries old farm house in Italy, unaware of the significance of their discovery the couple quickly find themselves under attack. This story weaves thru Italy, includes codes needing to be deciphered and conspiracy at the Vatican. When I first started the book I was a bit overwhelmed the author tends to jump around alot and it took me a little bit to keep all the characters straight but not long after I found myself intrigued and looking forward to reading each night and googling key words and phrases in the book during the day. I did have to read this book a bit slower than I normally do but that was only because I was worried about missing a detail in this in dept plot. I enjoy it when fiction books weave in real history and although the "secret" revealed in this book is purely fiction I found myself taking away from this book a history lesson also. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good read and I thoroughly enjoyed the way the author wrote this story like a movie, I could visualize the story as it unfolded in my head!
James Becker has the sequel to this book coming out in September called The Moses Stone and I can not wait to grab a copy!

And in case anyone has forgotten............. tomorrow Angels & Demons hit theatre's and I can't wait! Like I have said over & over I just love it when a book I have read hits the big screen!!

ps................. Is it just me or did the tornado sirens and hail keep anyone else up most of the night? I am like the walking dead today!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rain Rain go away.....

before you take my yard away!!!
So this is our 7 day planner and looks like the most hopeful one in weeks ( at least we have some partial sun in store)!!!! I even heard on the news this morning that this coming Saturday will literally be the 10th Saturday in a row with some sort of rain in Oklahoma!
Now, this is not my backyard but a perfect depiction of what is happening.... let me tell you that 3 dogs x 4 paws + 2 low riding bellies + a swamp like backyard = me about to go nuts! HA! Really the animals have cabin fever and each time they step outside we have to do an assembly line of toweling off paws and little weenie bellies! I am ready for an end!!!!!!!
This beauty is the jungle in our front yard! HA! Who knows what is lurking inside! All this rain has caused our front yard to grow at warp speed but if Matt even tried to mow I am sure it would be a soggy mess!! But I tell myself at least we have grass I will take a jungle over the mud pit we have in the back!
These little guys are my mini garden...... I am not sure what we are looking at yet but in this container we have Basil, Parsley and Green Onion!!! So this is exciting, look at me and my green thumb! HA!
Anyways, I was almost wondering if I needed to start building an Ark in the backyard and load up the kiddos! ha! But hopefully (fingers crossed) Oklahoma can start to dry out next week or I will go crazy!


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