August 31, 2010

The busy girl's guide to dinner!

I'm a self-proclaimed busy girl, but I don't think anyone would argue with me that I truly am busy! I'm a full-time law student, a part-time office worker (for lack of a better title) and in the midst of it all I'm a full-time *new* wifey! People who have only known me since my migration to the South probably can't picture me any other way... but everyone who has known me longer knows all too well that becoming a domestic diva was not a natural progression for me! But! Long gone are my days of catching delivery pizzas - literally - on fire, burning scrambled eggs to a (now, irreparable - sorry mama) pan and making chocolate chip cookies that caused my baby sister's tooth to fall out upon biting into them. I wish I was making this stuff up.

So, in 12ish months of marriage the questions I get asked most by people who know me best when I talk about being all domestic are along the lines of "since when do you cook?" Which I know is really code for "omg poor Andrew he is probably eating take out every night!" These questions are followed by dropped jaws and looks of bewilderment when I tell them that I actually do cook now, and I'm getting (kind of) good at it! In fact, I cook every night :) Not weekends... let's not get carried away. But Monday-Thursday, the quicker and easier the recipe - the better! Here are a few of my favorite weeknight staples that keep my hubby full and happy, and that keep me from slaving over a hot stove/oven for more time than I can afford to waste:

  • Lasagna - easy, delish, and leftovers for days! I use whole wheat noodles, and always mix up the cheese and sauce flavors for some variety.
  • Crock pot pork chops and potatoes - simplest thing ever, and perfect for nights when our dinner times don't align.
  • Chicken and pesto pasta - tastes so much better than plain old marina or alfredo, and my personal fave is to make it with campanelle noodles!
  • Baked salmon and rice - marinate in olive oil, lemon juice and toss in every seasoning in your spice rack... can't go wrong.
  • Stuffed burgers - stuffed with cheese, cheese and more cheese then grilled to perfection.
  • Spaghetti and meatballs - something about homemade meatballs just makes Andrew feel loved haha... and 1lb. of ground beef makes enough for meatball subs the next day :)
  • Reubens - my Irish hubbs loves a good reuben and they're our grown-up substitute for grilled cheese sandwiches.
  • Quiche - breakfast for dinner is always fun, and its even more fun when you have your entire meal contained in a single dish!
While these dinners are far from gourmet, they are do-able on a weekly basis in the midst of juggling school, work and home life. On nights when I have more time or just want to experiment with the zillions of recipe books we got for wedding gifts, I put a little more effort into our meals... but who am I kidding? These menu items have become staples in my kitchen and I am just happy to have graduated from pizza burning and teeth breaking to cooking edible, nutritious, and occasionally delicious dinners for our family of two :)

If you're wondering "where are the veggies?" ...that's another post, for another day!

August 25, 2010

It's the little things... :)

After a few days of feeling frustrated by my domestic duties - and Andrew's lack thereof - I came home yesterday to a small, but pleasant, surprise. Andrew had (without being asked) taken out the trash, emptied the dishwasher, washed the dishes in the sink, and was halfway finished making a delish dinner by the time I walked in the door at 5:30! I was reminded at just the right time that my hubby can be pretty cute and thoughtful when he wants to be ;)

It got me thinking about the way I go about taking care of our home... I'm definitely a Type A personality. Andrew affectionately refers to my cleaning habits as OCD. Now, that's an exaggeration, because he is a classic Type B personality! I find myself getting really annoyed with having to constantly wash/fold/put away laundry, I'm always the one who makes the bed, and 99% of the time I am left to clean up the aftermath of dinner in our kitchen before I go to bed at night. Men: THIS GETS OLD! I have told Andrew time and time again that when I'm a stay-at-home mom, and he is out making $$$, I will gladly assume all of the household duties. *However!* I am a full-time law student, part-time office worker at this juncture in our lives!!! While we are both in grad school, I see no reason why the domestic duties shouldn't be divided evenly.

That being said, I had an epiphany yesterday as I walked in from an 8 hour day at school. I shouldn't read into the fact that I find myself doing the majority of the domestic duties. I take those on because I want our home to be a certain way. Andrew, if left to his own devices, would not be a total slob, but he wouldn't obsess over water spots on the faucet or insist that the toss pillows on the couch are straightened and fluffed each night. And that's ok! Just not in my house :) So my new goal - and its a lofty one, and anyone who knows me will attest to that - is to do all of my domestic "musts" with a joyful heart, and to view the mundane, frustrating, annoying tasks as a way to love and serve my hubby. And as long as he does surprising little things like he did yesterday, I think I can manage to make this attitude change a permanent one!
He buys me cute handmade things from street vendors in Savannah
He hangs my flower baskets... only for me to kill them a couple months later!
He takes me to pretty, romantic places
And he is the cutest daddy to our little Bella :)

August 22, 2010


There is a lot of "oh my gosh, finally!" going on in our house lately. Even though we've passed the 1 year mark for just about everything in our life - being married, living in Georgia, living in our apartment, being in grad school, etc. - we've been slow and methodical (this is how I justify it at least) about doing a few last things that for most would have been done months ago!

1. We still have yet to frame/hang/display any of our professional wedding pictures. Why? I don't know. I have no good excuse except for the fact that I loved them ALL so I can't decide. Maybe I'll just hang a few hundred?
2. Still haven't ordered the last 2 decorative shams that go with our bedding. Why? I've kind of gotten used to the way it looks without them... and since I make the bed, fewer decorative pillows is less work for me!
3. Still haven't gotten our carpets cleaned, even though we get a FREE cleaning for renewing our lease. Why? I'm not in the mood to move our area rugs and furniture (even though I think they do this for me... hmmmm).
4. We left an entire wall of our office/spare bedroom vacant, awaiting the arrival of Andrew's diploma to hang in a matching frame. (The list goes on... but I won't!)

Well, his diploma came last week... but I didn't have a frame for the signed photo mat from our wedding reception that I was dead set on hanging in the middle of our diplomas! So... after our mothers' urging (nagging, urging, same diff.) we ventured out to find a 20x24 frame for our photo mat. I wish someone would have told me a year ago that 20x24 is NOT a normal size frame! After hours of shopping - Andrew's least favorite thing to do if its not for new sneakers or toys - we found a frame, framed the dang thing, and hung it all up on the blank wall in the office! *FINALLY!*

This sounds like a trivial feat, I know this. But it was a momentous occasion for us haha. We completed a task that, despite being months overdue, just makes our little home feel one step closer to "whole." There is nothing exciting about the wall - but I love it :) Next order of business: getting those wedding pictures printed, framed and displayed! I won't hold my breath.
Andrew hard at work...
Andrew's diploma, wedding photo mat, my diploma!
Satisfying view as I walk in the room... :)

August 15, 2010

{One Year Anniversary}

Miss these friends and this place!

Andrew and I celebrated a year of wedded bliss on August 1st :) We spent a long weekend in Hilton Head and it is refreshing to me that we can still have so much fun when its just the two of us! As I reflect back on the craziest, busiest, most stressful, and most memorable year of our life together, there are a few things I have come to learn/realize...
  • My husband makes me laugh every single day!
  • We are now the crazy cat people... and I'm ok with that
  • As soon as we are employed, I will hire a cleaning lady
  • Shopping for home decor has become (slightly) more fun than shopping for clothes
  • It's REALLY nice having a husband who enjoys cooking!
  • I eat a lot more ice cream than I would like to admit... 
  • We miss our families a ton, but are so thankful to be living in Atlanta at this juncture in life :)
  • I've permanently assumed the duties of toilet cleaning and grocery shopping
  • Andrew will forever take out the trash and has been delegated "vacuum duty" (in exchange for my weekly potty scrubbing... fair deal!)
  • We've made more life-long friends in Georgia than I ever could have dreamed!
  • I still feel like a newlywed, and I hope that feeling never fades :)
Still laughing together every single day :)
I'd marry this guy all over again ;)

August 5, 2010

Extreme Makeover: BLOG EDITION

For anyone who actually reads this thing, my friend Sheila gave my blog a much needed makeover! Its so pretty and inviting that I might actually be enticed to start posting more than once per season :) Sheila is awesome - and so is her cute blog! You can check it out here: Sheila's blog.