Saturday, June 27, 2009

Grand Opening!

This Wednesday was the grand opening of the newest Walmart store in the world and the most prestigious Walmart Neighborhood Market ever built. And why does this matter, you ask? Well, my dad, who put in 30+ years with Kroger only to be treated like crap, has worked for Walmart for less than 3 years and was given the privilege of managing this store. He has been working tirelessly to get this store open and it's his little baby! It looked amazing and I know he is glad to be back in a strictly grocery store environment, because that is where he thrives. He is also able to spend the majority of his time on the floor greeting customers and making sure everyone is happy, which are his favorite things about his job. If you are up in Northwest Arkansas, this is the new Pinnacle Neighborhood Market on Whitaker. I'm very proud of all his hard work! Here are some pictures from Wednesday.

All these pictures might seem like overkill, but if you would have grown up in a grocery store like I did (or if you are related to Monk) you can truly appreciate all of the produce stacked perfectly and all the labels on everything else facing the same way. Also, if you know my dad, you know it wasn't just like that for the grand's like that every single day!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

My little cuties!

I thought all of you who are not my family and do not already know my niece and nephew would enjoy some pictures of the little sweeties I've been taking care of the past 2 months!
First, my nephew Ethan just turned 6 and can tell you all you have ever wanted to know about Mount St. Helens. What, you don't want to know anything about it? Well, too bad, he's going to tell you anyways! He likes to talk all the time (I don't know anyone else that was like that growing up) and does not like to clean his room.
My niece, Elizabeth (we all call her Lizzie) will be 3 in a couple of months. She loves all things girlie and gets overly excited about things (again, no one else that I know of was like that). She likes to line up all her toys and follow me around "helping" me clean!
I am leaving on Tuesday and I am going to miss them tremendously. I have bonded so much with them and I hope they will remember this time I've spent with them forever! I also hope Ethan remembers to clean his room!!

Here are some other pictures from throughout the summer I've spent with them.

Oh no! Not another RECIPE!!

Ok, so I don't only make baked goods with cinnamon and sugar in them, that's just all I've made recently that I felt was worthy to share! Maybe one day I will share my foolproof chocolate chip cookie recipe with you! We shall see. Anyways, this recipe is a great thing to make for a brunch, Sunday School breakfast, or as a dessert when paired with some vanilla ice cream. Oh my, I have gained weight just thinking about that one!!

Monkey Bread Muffins (the easy way!)

-1 cup sugar
-1 tablespoon cinnamon

Put these in a gallon size zipper bag and shake to mix together

-4 can pack of buttermilk biscuit dough

Open 2 cans and separate dough. Using a pizza cutter, cut each biscuit into 6 pieces. Place pieces in zipper bag (I usually add the dough in quarters) and shake until pieces are covered in cinnamon sugar mixture.

-1 cup brown sugar
-1 cup butter

Combine in a microwave safe bowl (or you could melt it on the stove top, but this is just faster) and microwave for about 30 seconds-1 minute. Stir well to mix it all together (This caramel sauce would also be good to pour over the above mentioned vanilla ice cream for dessert another night!)

Coat a 12-muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Distribute dough pieces evenly among the 12 spots. I use a soup spoon for the following part, but you can use a teaspoon if you don't want your muffins to be too gooey or a tablespoon if you love the goo! Using your spoon of choice, spoon the caramel mixture on top of each muffin top. Bake for 12 minutes or so at 350, letting the muffins cool in the tin for about a minute. Be gentle when tipping the muffin tin over to get the muffins out because they dough can still separate while they are warm.

Repeat with the rest of the dough. Remember to re-spray your muffin tin so your second batch doesn't stick. I hope you enjoy these as much as I am right now! :-)

And, no, that is NOT my personal plate and I will NOT be eating all those...well, at least probably not!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Coolest Aunt Ever!

So today, I impressed both my niece and my nephew.

First, I dug through a tin of alphabet cookies so I could spell out my nephew's name while he was having a snack. He got so excited you would have thought I told him he could have ice cream for dinner.

Second, I opened a jar of sauce and my niece squealed, clapped and said "You did it!" I guess she heard me say that a few too many times last week in my attempt to get her potty trained!

That was my self esteem boost for the day! I can spell and open jars!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Something yummy!

I thought I would share a recipe that I have made several times and just love! I LOVE sweets, and this is definitely sweet!

Cinnamon Roll Cake

-yellow cake mix
-4 eggs
-1 cup sour cream (I use fat free)
-3/4 cup oil

Mix together and pour in 9x13 pan.

-1 cup brown sugar
-1 tablespoon cinnamon

Mix together, then spoon into piles on top of the cake batter. Then take a knife and swirl into the batter. (I swirled too much this time and it looked kind of silly when it was all done baking!)

Bake at 325 for 30-40 minutes. I usually check at 30 minutes, then every five minutes after that if it isn't done.

-2 cups powdered sugar
-4 tablespoons milk

Mix together and pour over cake after it has cooled for 10 minutes. I think I have decided that I will actually cut the icing in half (1 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons milk) because it was a bit much tonight! Let cool a little longer then DIG IN!!

I hope you enjoy trying out this recipe!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

3 Years Ago Today...

We got married!

It sounds cliche' but we both do say that we married our best friend. We still laugh and joke and talk like we did on some of our first dates. Our love has grown more than I would have ever imagined it could! Here is a journey through our anniversaries...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Oh my, I did it again didn't I?  I didn't realize it had been 5 months since my last post.  That is really sad!  Well, most of the people who read this have facebook and kind of know what has been happening during this time that I've been AWOL, so here is the last several months in bullet points! (I've been dreading the long, drawn out "I'm back" post.  So if I can just get through this one, I'll be much better about posting regularly.)
  • February - I turned 25.  Yes, I feel old.  By the age of 25, my mom had already had all the kids she was going to have.  In case you haven't picked up on it, I've produced no children.  I feel quite behind, even though Tim says I shouldn't! 
  • March (get ready for it, it's a doozy!) - My car got stolen.  Yes, my car we bought less than a year before was stolen from out of our driveway.  Nevermind the fact I left the doors unlocked and the keys in the ignition!  But really, I had done this all winter.  I would start my car to warm it up, run inside to do a few things and get my stuff then leave.  Well, this morning I was running late and I turned it on and ran in just to grab my purse and tell Tim I was leaving, I went outside and it was gone!!!  Let me tell you, that was a WEIRD feeling.
  • Later in March - The police find my car in the parking lot of some abandoned apartments.  The people who stole it did not take the brand new tires we had just put on it or my pink umbrella, but they took everything else.  My beloved Garmin, the 10 water bottles I had just put in the car the morning it was stolen, my reusable Target shopping bags, the air mattress that was still in the trunk from my birthday weekend when we were in Arkansas, the OWNER'S MANUAL, and all of our insurance/tire warranty paperwork and various cords.  I immediately decide we are going to sell the car and I'm going to get something else.  (After praying about it, we realized that would be an unwise decision since we owe more on it than it's worth...)  Oh, and since my keys were in the ignition, they had our house key, my work key, our friend's apartment key, and my only key fob (remember, the other one was flushed down the toilet on New Year's Eve!). So we had to change our locks, the Doctor had to change his locks (because he was convinced I was being stalked and they would come break in the office for allergy medication!!) and we had to buy another key fob...and those aren't cheap.  I sure know how to handle my keys!
  • April - We go on our annual California trip for Spring Break.  We had a great time and were able to spend an entire week out there instead of just several days like last year.  Thankfully my car was found before this trip or I wouldn't have enjoyed it at all.
  • Mid April - My sister-in-law (Tim's brother's wife) needed someone to help take care of her the kiddos and help with the cleaning and cooking while she recovered from shoulder surgery.  I thought, what the heck, I'll ask the Doctor if I can take off two months without pay and still come back to my job after that.  He said yes (I think I asked him on a good day!!). 
  • End of April - We meet my parents in OKC to give the CR-V back to them (Oh, the day my car got stolen I was convinced I would never see it again, so my parents met us in OKC that night and let us borrow my uncle's CR-V that they are keeping for him.)  Then we made the trek to Dallas for me to start my job as a nanny/cook/maid!  
  • May - I've loved being able to help with the kids.  I feel like I'm making some great memories with them and I love to have a part in their lives.  I'm so glad Willy and Darlene gave me the chance to do this.  They've been great!  I don't think I would do well with having someone in my house for a long time, but they are being wonderful!  They understand my need to escape to the beautiful aisles of the Super Target with a large Diet Coke and a bag of popcorn.  I'm sure the workers there wonder why I'm there so often!  But Target just makes me smile!!  It has been a lot to get used to.  My nephew is quite the talker...from the minute he wakes up (I have NO IDEA who else did that as a child...Mom, do not make any comments on here!!)  But we have some sweet times that I hope he always remembers.  My niece is the cutest thing that has ever been on this earth!  I can't get over it.  When I would pick her up at preschool, I would stand in the doorway of the class and she would say "That's my Randi".  Yes, I had to mop up my melted heart off the floor!!
Well, that brings us to June.  I will do better at posting.  So many funny things happen throughout the day, I have plenty of material!!

The old, childless, 25 year old!!