Vacationnnnnnnnnn

Yea ummm I’m a little excited. As I mentioned before, B and I will be going to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for my 25th birthday. After months and months of waiting (we booked in May!), it is finally almost here! We leave Friday and I’m practically bouncing off the walls!

This is our resort:
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All ocean-view rooms… all inclusive… and a-mazing. One of the things I’m most excited about is the pool:
pv pool

I was never much of a lay-by-the-pool kind of girl… until we went to Vegas last summer. It was soooo hot (Vegas in August. Yep). It just felt awesome to lay out all morning reading a book with intermittent dips in the pool. And this time will be even better because the drinks will be free! (loved the pool at Treasure Island… did not love the $9 daiquiris)

Another thing I’m really excited for is all the photo opportunities. PV is supposed to be absolutely beautiful, and I’m so happy it is on the Pacific coast! That means opportunities for incredible sunset photos like this:
pv sunset

I’m a liiiiiitle worried about two things. First, B is not a reader. We talked about this when we were deciding on vacation and I asked him what he would do at a resort all week if he didn’t read. He has assured me about 1000 times that he’ll be fine… but I worry that he will be bored! Me? I could sit by the pool for a month solid reading, but what do people do if they don’t enjoy reading? I’ll report back after vacation I guess! Second thing is that he is home sick today! It isn’t horrible, but he’s been kind of sick-ish on and off for a few weeks. We got him some echinacea and emergen-c + nyquil. He is on serious fluids, soup, and napping. Fingers crossed for us staying healthy over the next two weeks!

I’m sure the trip will be great. We don’t really have anything planned for the trip, we’re on the “no plan” plan. I know that at some point we’re going to try to go out snorkeling, and we want to do one other “excursion.” I wanted to do the zip-lines but B is unsure about heights and I don’t care enough to push. I’m thinking maybe horseback riding? Or ATVing? Who knows. Also, my birthday will be during the trip and I’m hoping to get a facial and massage that day. I haven’t brought it up to B too much because I’m not sure if he has anything planned, but if he doesn’t have a plan I’m taking myself to the spa!

Probably the most exciting thing will just be getting to hang with B for a whole week! Since we started dating he has been working full time, so we never have gotten to spend THAT much time together. We have done weekends away and we did go to Vegas for a week, but it was with two of my friends and we only took one “date night.” Even if it rains, even if he’s sick, regardless of what happens, it will be so great to just get to hang out with him for a whole week. Sigh… can it be Friday now? Preferably Friday afternoon so I can be all checked into the hotel and done with traveling. 🙂

I am a danger to both myself and others

I am living proof that one does not learn from their mistakes. Today I had a ceramic plate sitting on a burner on the stove (NO counter space in my kitchen and I was trying to unload dishes). I put a pot of water on another burner and turned it on to boil. Several minutes later I hear sizzling/cracking/popping. Yep. I did it again.

I will say that in the past year+ that I’ve worked at learning to cook, the average cuss words/hour in the kitchen has steadily decreased. That being said, I have during this calendar year so far lit on fire (or almost-fire):
– A silicon pot holder
– tin foil
– a kitchen towel
– a ceramic plate

I may need to retire.

Google rocks my socks

Does everyone (all of you, my imaginary readers… suddenly feeling like I am doing a newscast into the mirror with a hairbrush, but whatever) know about coupon codes? I really hope so.

Whenever I buy anything online, when I get to the payment screen, I always look for the box that says “enter your coupon code here.” Then I open a new tab and google “[website name] coupon code”. That easy, seriously. Maybe one of three times I find a workable coupon, but it is so worth it.

I just placed an order with snapfish.com, my photo printing service of choice. I ordered nine 5x7s and six 8x10s, total cost before tax and shipping $25.05– pretty darn good!! But I googled anyways. Within 2 minutes I found “$10 off any order of $25 or more,” score! Just that easy. Total cost with shipping and tax, less than $18.

Google, I love you.

**this PSA regarding coupon codes has been brought to you by your friendly frugal blogger**

**It’s the most, wonderful timeeeeee of the year**

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It is October, I LOVE October! October 1-December 31 is by FAR my favorite time of the year. As soon as October comes I just get really excited, almost giddy. I love everything about fall and early winter.

It begins when the nights start getting cool. I’m immediately taken back to high school. Sitting on our covered porch, wrapped in a blanket, hanging out with my friends. Laying on a trampoline in the backyard in the middle of the night, staring at the stars. Hanging out around someone’s bonfire after a Friday night football game.

Then the leaves turn… yellow and orange. Ironic because I hate the color orange but I love it in nature. I think the leaves turning is so much more beautiful than any flower in the spring. Apple cider, hay rides, picking out pumpkins, and HALLOWEEN! My birthday is just a few days before Halloween and I’m sure that is part of why it is my favorite holiday. I’d always have costumed birthday parties, and some years we went to “boo at the zoo” or haunted houses. I think I went trick-or-treating every year until I was 14.

Next is Thanksgiving. I love my big family and Thanksgiving is always such a fun time. It is often the first time I’ve seen many of my cousins since the Christmas before, and it is so great to catch up with everyone. We make the rounds at everyone’s house and hit the Black Friday sales at 5am. It isn’t even about what we buy, really. Usually we don’t come home with much more than an average shopping trip, but it is such a fun tradition with my mom.

All of a sudden the Christmas decorations are everywhere and the shopping in earnest begins. If Halloween is my favorite holiday, Christmas is a very near second. Is it just me or is everyone a bit happier in December? We are hopefully getting the first few big snows, and Frank Sinatra sings everywhere. I get to put up a ridiculous amount of decorations and figure out the perfect gift for everyone. There are cookies to bake and parties to attend. Christmas morning is always bittersweet because I know it means the end of this season is near. We get one last hurrah with New Years Eve… and then back to work and cold. I always thought that they should move Christmas to February or March, just to spread out the season… but I don’t think history is on my side here.

As this fall starts, I am just incredibly grateful. I have a lot of good things in my life, and I’m in a really good place. Only time can tell… but I have a hunch that this is going to be a really good year for me.

Chicken Tacos

Holy cow two posts in one day… crazy right? Well… not so much because they’re really both just show and tell. 🙂

I hesitate to even call this a recipe because it is just so easy… but it is also SO good. We don’t even make ground meat tacos with that sad little packet of taco seasoning anymore. I always thought that I loved tacos that way… until I didn’t have ground meat or taco seasoning and wanted tacos. Being too lazy to go to the grocery (they say that necessity is the mother of invention… in my case it is always the lazy…), here is what I came up with. I’m just going to show how to make the filling because no one needs pictures of how to put meat in a taco shell right? mmk.

As with most of my recipes, start with about a pound of chicken. I prefer to boil and chop it up into tiny pieces… but feel free to cook it however you like.
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Chop up about half an onion into a medium dice, and throw it into a saute pan on medium heat. You can use oil if you’d like, I think cooking spray works fine and has no calories!
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When the onions are translucent and starting to brown just a bit, add a can of diced green chilis. These are a must-have for any mexican-type food, I put them in everything.
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Saute this mixture for a few minutes, then add the chicken. Add garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin.
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Now mix everything together and get it heated through. It might not look pretty, but I promise you it is delicious!
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Ingredients:
1 lb chicken, shredded or chopped
1/2 onion diced
1 can diced green chilis
1/2 tspn garlic powder
1 tspn chili powder
1 tspn cumin

I am crafty

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before… but I am a crafty girl. My grandma is a seamstress and she taught us all to sew before we could write our own names. I wonder how one becomes a professional seamstress nowadays? It isn’t a job you usually hear people in their 20s having.

Anyways.

I don’t limit my crafting to sewing, but it is probably what I do most of because it is relatively easy and so useful. I love that I can make things cheaper than I can buy them, and it is fun to take a piece of fabric and turn it into something cool.

My latest project was super easy. I had these pillows that came with my couch and they were just never quite right.
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I didn’t mind the red theme… but they were just… bleh. Right?
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So I headed to the fabric store and picked up a couple of different fabrics. I decided to just do removable pillow covers.. they’re easy and easy to take off to wash when they get dog-hairy. Also, if I get tired of these pillows in a year I can just make new covers, no big deal. Here’s the close-up of the new pillows:
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Stew approves. And now the whole couch:
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Next up? I have two quilts sketched up with fabric bought and ready to go!