Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pizza Time

When I first saw this commercial, I laughed so hard.  The moon declaring it was “pizza time” was unexpected and that voice…hilarious!  Even though my star gazing didn’t yield any proclamations from the moon, it still left me with a hankering for pizza.  We have a local pizza place that we love.  The slices are huge and the pizza isn’t too greasy so you feel like you’re eating healthy pizza.  At least that’s what I tell myself. 

While we love our local place, our favorite pizza of all time is this little hole in the wall in my husband’s home town that serves taco pizza.  No other pizza parlor, joint, or restaurant I’ve been to provides as delectable experience in terms of taco pizza as this one does in West Point, Iowa. 

That is, until my husband tried to make it at home.  I’ve got to say, he has outdone himself.  Now don’t hate me when I say this ladies, but my husband does all our cooking (pause for ridicule or….high fives).  He’s just really good at it.  Way better than me.  Now I can make a mean omelet or grilled cheese, but when it comes to good eating, I leave the heavy lifting to him.  I know, I’m pretty (EXTREMELY) lucky.
This weekend we didn’t want to venture out in the cold, so he made his famous taco pizza.  After reading Devon’s delicious recipe over at The Mermaid Chronicles for taco soup (she is awesome!), I thought it would be fun to share his recipe for taco pizza.

Taco Pizza
Pizza crust (we used a mix from Betty Crocker)
Pizza sauce
Hamburger meat
Taco seasoning
Taco or Mexican cheese
Doritos (nacho cheese flavor)
Taco sauce

Step 1:  Make the pizza crust according to the directions on the mix.  We like a thin crust for this pizza, but feel free to try whatever kind of crust you prefer.

Step 2:  Cook the hamburger meat and add taco seasoning (similar to how you would make meat for regular tacos).

Step 3:  Put a thin layer of pizza sauce on the crust and sprinkle the cooked meat over it.

Step 4:  Cook the pizza until the crust is almost done.  We grill our pizza, so I’m not sure how long this would be in a normal oven.  Probably around 6-8 minutes.  Check the bottom of the crust to make sure it’s just starting to turn brown.

Step 5:  Then take the pizza out and sprinkle a healthy dose of cheese on top of it.  Put the pizza back in the oven and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the bottom of the crust is golden brown.

Step 6:  Once the pizza is cooked, take it out of the oven.  Sprinkle the shredded lettuce all over the pizza.  Dice up the tomatoes and sprinkle them generously over the pizza as well. 

Step 7:  Now comes the fun part!  Take a big handful of Doritos and crush them in your hands over the pizza until you have a nice layer of crunched up Doritos. 

Step 8:  Slice up the pie and pour some taco sauce over it and enjoy!  Delicious!
This picture doesn't do this pizza justice.  It is way more delicious than it looks.
My favorite cook in the world

There are a ton of variations you could do with this pizza.  You could make it vegetarian by not including the meat, or add onions, peppers, or avacado.  Let me know if you try this recipe or if you make any cool pizzas that I should try out!  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Winter wonderland

sweater and shirt: Old Navy   jeans: Gap    boots: Barefoot     hat: made by my mom:)

Instead of fighting it, I embraced our latest snowfall.  This is the winter’s one last hurrah, right?  Despite the biting cold, it was beautiful watching the first snowflakes descend upon the (finally) clean ground.  We went outside before the snow got too deep and enjoyed the big flakes.  That lasted about two minutes before we ran back inside to get warm. 

This “enjoyment” lasted less than a day.  Trying to walk into work with the wind and snowflakes pelting me sideways did it for me.  I’m done with it.  Thank you for the moisture, but it’s time to go away. 

That last statement got me thinking about our love/hate relationship with necessary inconveniences.  Kansas has been in a record breaking draught for the past few years.  Apparently as bad as the dust bowl in the 1930s.  I wished for more moisture this winter and spring, since a lot of house foundations are taking a beating (ours included).  I should be more grateful that we have all this great moisture.  I want the benefit of the snow, but don’t want to deal with its inconveniences.  That’s true with a lot of things.  We might want the effects of working out, but hate going to the gym.  Dealing with short term annoyances often pays off in the end.  Boy is it hard dealing with these annoyances, though.  Well, all this snow better have a good payoff this summer.

What short term annoyances have you put up with to get to the end result you wanted?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Shopping with my mom

See my awesome hat?  Made with love by my mom:)

This weekend my mom and I snuck in a quick shopping trip before the snowstorm hit.  I’m not a big shopper, but I do love going with my mom.  We started off at H&M, because nothing says hip like some cheap European clothes.  I’ve found that I either really love their stuff or can’t find anything I like.  Nothing really screamed out at me as we walked around the store.  It didn’t help that when I tried on a few things, they were waaaayyy too small.  Like the top that looked huge on the hanger hit at my belly button, and the sleeves were so tight.  Slightly discouraged, we made our way back into the cold and thought about where to go next.  I have a time limit of about 2 hours of shopping before I turn super cranky, so we had to make a decision quick.  Since I had a few coupons to Old Navy, we headed there.  Walking in there was glorious.  Everything was on sale, and I loved all the colors.  Say what you will about Old Navy, but an adorable dress (that is actually an appropriate length instead of way too short) for $25?  Yes please.  I’ll take two.  And the fact that they had a bathroom near the fitting room that was open to customers?  Old Navy, you are on a roll.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who notices (and appreciates) things like that.

We both made out like bandits.  It was a GREAT afternoon, and my mom is the BEST!  I’m always so happy after hanging out with her and am so fortunate we get to do stuff like this together.  I’ll always be her little sidekick.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Knock knock....Is Spring there?

Did someone forget to wake Spring up yesterday and tell her that it's time to get the show on the road?  I guess the alarm clock never went off, because Spring is still asleep and Winter is ablazing over here.  It is snowing right now.  Seriously?  Spring, you better make up for lost time soon or else. 

But last week....oh last week was magical.  For a day, it hit a record high of 82 degrees!  So warm that I got to take my pasty white legs out and about.  And by out and about, I mean to Chipotle for our Friday night dinner date.  Geez, those suckers are bright white.  To their defense they haven't seen the sun in quite some time.  I don't know what their excuse will be in a few months, but I'll find something else to blame it on by then.
sweater, shorts, and purse: Target; shoes: Sperry

I took Friday afternoon off from work and enjoyed the sun and warmth. I hit up a trail for a quick run/walk, rode my bike, and drove around with the windows open.  It was nice.  It was just the pick me up needed to get me through this terribly cold week.  Spring is just around the corner, people! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I least for a little bit

view from bench following run
Since college, running has been my solace.  I’m a person who enjoys my alone time, and I have never felt more connected to myself than on runs.  It’s just me, pushing myself to my limits with no one else to impress.  But I haven’t run for 4 months, when I was finally stopped in my tracks with terrible knee pain.  I was beginning to think I would never have that feeling again.  The feeling of the wind whipping against me as I pushed my body as fast as it could go.   I told myself it wasn’t that big of a deal.  I would take a few weeks off and just do the elliptical and would be back to running in no time.  But those few weeks have turned into months.  Before last week I was beginning to wonder if I would ever be able to run again (check out my letter to my future self).  Faced with the prospect of not being able to do something that you’ve come to love is daunting and does not put you in the best of moods (to put it lightly).  But last week, after scouring the internet yet again, to find an effective way to cure runner’s knee, I stumbled upon this blog post.

I’m a heel striker with long strides, and I guess you’re supposed to land on your midfoot with short strides.  My brother had told me for a while that I needed to change my running form, but it was hard for me to conceptualize how to put that into practice.  Until this guy from the blog post said he started running trails, which forced him to change up his form.  It was like a lightning bolt, and suddenly I felt a new surge of energy.  I did some research on a trail somewhat close to me.  I drove out there that night and took a deep breath.  Normally, the first step in a run would prompt a sharp pain in my knee.  But when I started working my way around the rocks, I realized that there wasn’t that same pain as before.  I was on my toes and not striking with my heel (which I guess is a big no-no—why didn’t anyone tell me this years ago?).  I ran a whole 10 minutes.  Now I know that isn’t a long time, but for someone who thought they wouldn’t be able to run anytime soon, this was the best feeling in the world.  I knew that I was using different muscles than before and did not want to overdo it where I would get myself into another injury.  4 months ago I would have kept going.  If anything, this injury has taught me patience.  I stopped and tried to start up again, but on flatter ground it was difficult for me to find the right form and my body was awkward.  While I might not be there yet, what this excursion taught me is that there is hope. 

What did I feel while standing amidst the trees with no one else around, watching the sun go down, breathing heavily?  Thankful.  I felt thankful that I have a new path to pursue when I was lost in the woods.  I felt thankful that I had been able to have this feeling again.  It was just me there, but I didn’t feel alone.
on the trail 

This week I got minimal trail running shoes and signed up for a running form clinic.  I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.  I’m so nervous to try again and find that what I’ve been setting my hopes on won’t work.  I know it won’t be a quick fix and may not work exactly like I envision, but I have to take the next step and see where this path leads me. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy St. Paddy's Day...belated

Well, the luck o' the Irish wasn't with us this year, since the beautiful weather we had on Friday (80 degrees) turned into a 30 degree rainy day.   That's Kansas for you--a 50 degree drop in temperature within two days.  Luckily, I was wearing mint green pants the other day that will suffice for my St. Paddy's Day attire.  Oh, and an Irish jig.  This should be my Lord of the Dance audition.  That's about as high as I can kick, though. Very inflexible.

Outfit details: glasses-Rayban; shirt and socks-JCrew; sweater and jeans-Target; shoes-Sperry; necklace-H&M

Here's a picture from a St. Patrick's Day a few years ago where it was warm enough to wear shorts.  Next year (no matter how cold it is), we've vowed to venture back to Lawrence to meet up with my brother and sister-in-law to celebrate being green, because we always have so much fun with them.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Check out page 5

There is a cool new magazine around KC aimed at everything vintage, and in each quarterly issue they have a section with Etsy finds.  My co-worker actually found out about the magazine and thought it would be a good place to market my necklaces.  I like to think of my necklaces as vintage-esque, and I do use repurposed fabric and vintage ribbon whenever I can, so I figured I didn’t have anything to lose (except my pride). 

It’s always hard to put yourself out there.  My immediate thought was, “who am I to think that my stuff could be in a magazine?”  Why are we always our own worst critics?  To a friend in the same situation, I would be building her up and telling her that her stuff is great and just go for it.  But to myself, I am slower to lend praise and always proceed nervously in these types of endeavors.  With the support of my friends and family, though, I e-mailed the editor and inquired about being included in the next issue.  She was really sweet and told me to send in some pictures.  Awesome sauce.

The next hurdle was to get those pictures taken.  I wanted something artsy with a cool backdrop.  I had the vision, but the hubster had to execute.  It took a lot of cajoling and whining on my part to get him to take some photos.  I was frustrated because they weren’t turning out like what I had envisioned (and had seen on other blogs), and he was frustrated because I wasn’t satisfied with the pictures he was taking.  Well, after we got over the embarrassment of taking the photos in front of the brick on the front of our house with strangers passing by, I think some of them turned out really well.  He did an outstanding job. 

So then I submitted my pictures and waited.  Months passed.  Finally, the first quarter issue was out in March.  I flipped to page 5, and there I was!  Life goal--check.  I don’t know if anyone will see it, but I’m telling myself to feel proud of it and enjoy the moment.  And now I’m telling you to “go for it!” (the “it” being anything that you’ve been putting off or too hesitant to do.)  I’ll be here cheering you on.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

PEICD: You shine like a sunflower

We're slowly decorating home.  It's been almost 3 years since we moved into our house, so this has been a slow process to say the least.  But we wanted everything we put in it to feel like us and tell our story.  I'm always on the lookout for cool art.  There are a lot of pretty things out there, but I want it to smack me in the face when I see it and have that feeling that I just have to have it in order to look at every day.  I was in a shop in Lawrence a few months ago and saw this gift bag.  There was just something about the saying and the picture that I really liked, so I got it, not quite knowing what I was going to do with it.  When I got it home, I thought, "Hey!  These colors match really well with the house and would look cool in a picture frame”. 

I had some pea green spray paint lying around, and a ridiculously cheap frame from Target that I knew would come in handy someday (it was seriously something like $1.99 or $2.50).  So I spray painted the frame and cut up the bag and voila, a cool new picture to display. 

Originally, I was going to hang the picture in the bedroom or sun room (since I didn’t think my husband would want it anywhere else), but after not hanging it for a few days my husband propped it in our living room.  I like it here.  It adds just a little something and is a cool focal point without being too loud.  It got me thinking about framing a lot of other things I have around—like fabric or scrapbook paper.  Has anyone out there tried framing different things?  How did it go?  I still have the flipside of the bag, so maybe another one is necessary.  Overkill?  Only if someone sees it.    Also, check out that lampshade!  It's a little too big for the stand, but I just found it at Target on sale for $5!  I'll buy practically anything for $5.  $10?  No deal.  But $5?  Heck yes--the deal of the century:)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Atomic Age

Have you ever had that “ah-ha” moment of realizing that two things that you thought were completely separate were actually related?  I love learning about new things, because it seems to fill in missing puzzle pieces for me and complete the story.   

Case in point, whenever I think about the term "atomic decorating", images of clean lined furniture, lots of pink and turquoise, and starburst clocks pop into mind.  I just thought it had to do with a certain type of decor in the 1950s, like colonial revival.  In the book I'm reading, though, it talks about this time period being known as "the atomic age".  Atomic energy, or nuclear power, had been created, and people thought it would be a legitimate and cheap fuel type in the future.  In fact, people thought that it would be too cheap to even charge for.  So the decorating at this time took its cue from science and brought in different elements like starbursts and other futuristic designs that would get people ready for this “space age”.  People thought that in a few years it would be like "The Jetsons".  A robot maid would sure be nice.  


What I found even more interesting was that Ford had made a prototype of a new type of car in the 1950s called the “Nucleon”.  They were going to take out the normal combustible engine that ran on gas and replace it with a pint-size atomic reactor in the trunk.  People thought that it would save tons of money in gas and be better for the environment.  A prototype was never actually built, though, because people soon realized the terrible effects that even a small fender bender would have, not to mention the radiation exposure to drivers. 

It really made wonder what someone from the 1950s would think of our world today.  We may not have flying cars yet, but we are able to talk to someone halfway across the world and see our loved ones hundreds of miles away while we talk via Skype or Facetime.  I wonder what our world will look like in 50 years and what cool new gadgets we'll have.  Jet packs would be cool.  Sky's the limit!