Friday, April 29, 2011

The grass is always greener...

Kevin has been working really hard this year to make our yard/grass pretty. This is not always an easy task since we are always on the go during the summer. We had some major crab grass and weed issues last year and were a little disheartened that it was going to take constant love and care to have a yard we'd emjoy (full of grass instead of weeds)! Since then we Kevin has learned all about when to seed, different fertilizers, weed killers, and more things that I don't even know enough about to give reference to. I'm so proud of him! We're really starting to feel like grown ups and if you'd listen to our conversations about yard care you'd even think we were actual grown ups!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easy Gooey Butter Cake

I love to make this quick and easy (and delicious!) cake - I brought it to work to share last Friday as my birthday treat!

Easy Gooey Butter Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
1 egg, slightly beaten

Mix these 3 ingredients with a fork and pat mixture into a greased 15x9 pan
(or I like to use a regular 9x13 for a little bit thicker cake).

8 oz cream cheese
1 lb powdered sugar
2 eggs

Beat these 3 ingredients for 5 minutes and pour over cake mixture in pan.
Bake at 350* for 30 minutes or until  nice and brown. Enjoy!

This is pretty rich cake so smaller pieces are better (and I never say that about dessert!)
This cake keeps really well. Even after a week + it still tastes great!

Baby J

Got to meet my brand new nephew over Easter weekend. He such a cutie! Congrats to my bro and sister-in-law!

Aunt Abby & Baby J

Sleeping peacefully

eyes open!

Birthday Freebies

I love freebies... and birthdays... unless it mine. So to make this year more bearable exciting I took a half-day off work and Kevin & I ate (and slept) the afternoon away!

We started at Moe's - my birthday coupon was for a free meal, w/ no extra purchase, so we split a burrito and chips w/ salsa and just spent a little extra on a Dr. Pepper for Kevin.

Next was Culver's for a free sundae; they told me to "go crazy" so I got hot fudge sauce, brownie bits, and whip cream on top, Yum!

It was raining pretty hard that afternoon which makes me very sleepy so we took a 2 hour nap next! It was wonderful!

Noodles also gives you a free meal w/ no extra purchase so we got Pad Thai w/ grilled chicken to go and ate it while we caught up on our tv shows for the week.

To finish the day we meet w/ friends for a late dinner at Reality Bites, a tapas style restaurant in downtown Bloomington. I did not have a birthday coupon for here, but had purchased a gift card through Seize the Deal a couple of months ago. This was my first time at Reality Bites and I LOVED it!  I will definitely be going back there again!

It was a pretty full (haha, get it? Full?) day for us! Here's the cost/savings break down:

                                                                                 Value           Our Cost
Moe's Burrito & Dr. Pepper                                     9.84                1.85
Culver's sundae                                                       3.59               FREE
Noodles Pad Thai w/ chicken                                7.50               FREE
Reality Bites
    (including origional certificate purchase)        39.00               24.00

    TOTAL                                                                   59.93               25.85

That's a savings of $34.08 or 56%. Gotta love good deals!!!

Here's a list of BloNo area restaurants that offer birthday coupons:

Moe's  -  free meal
Culver's  -  free sundae
Noodles  - free meal
Baskin Robbins  -  free ice cream
Cold Stone  -  free ice cream
Flat Top  -  $5 off stir fry
Biaggi's  -  free dessert w/ meal purchase
Red Lobster - $5 off w/ 2 meal purchase
Applebee's  -  free dessert shooter
Starbucks  -  free drink
DQ  -  free ice cream w/ purchase
BWW  - free dessert
Chevy's  -  free dessert

Any others I'm missing???

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

City Museum Tower of Foam!?!

My birthday is just a couple of days away and I don't want to say I'm getting old or anything, but after running around the City Museum for a couple of hours with Kevin, Pete, & Annie this past weekend, I was certainly starting to feel a little old and tired. That's when I spotted a room full of blocks and immediatly collapsed sat down and started building.

When the others realized I was serious about this break project they quickly started their own project sites.

But not everyone's was built on a solid foundation

And soon my friends started to get jealous of my building skilz

So to save relationships we started to build together

But soon I was trapped

And to break free I was forced to tear down my tower of foam

And that's the story of my City Museum Tower of Foam!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring Cut

Got my hair cut today as planned, see here. I love it! Shannon at Fox-n-Hounds did it and I would recommend her. It was a very nice/classy experience and the price was reasonable.

Here's the before shot (note: I tried to look sad/angry like you're supposed to in makeover before shots ;)

And here's the after shots...

front view

behind the ear

side view

What do you think?!

Weekend Vaca!

Warning: this post might end up rather long… we went to St. Louis for a great weekend getaway to celebrate the end of tax season 2011!

Friday, I got off work a couple of hours early and got a pedicure. I LOVE getting my nails done – even more than getting a massage.  See my pretty toes…

Friday evening was my work tax season party at Destihl. Love their food and I’m still eating the giant piece of carrot cake I got for dessert! Kevin decided to go ahead and devour his entire pound of chocolate cake right then and there.

Saturday morning we headed to St. Louis with our good friends Pete & Annie K. First stop on the trip was D’Arcy’s Pint in Springfield for lunch. Gotta love a horseshoe! 


We made our first St. Louis stop the Anheuser-Busch brewery tour. The make such a massive quantity of beer it's so amazing to see the process.

Next was the City Museum. Where we climbed our butts knees off and had lots of fun being kids again.

Annie is thankful she made it out of that tunnel alive!

Climbing around in the outdoor jungle gym

Pete in the skate park

Here is a video of Kevin going down a slide (note my warning about not breaking the camera at the beginning J)

Watch for a future post about the awesome tower we built!

Sunday we spent the morning enjoying the Shaw Botanical Gardens – My favorite St. Louis activity. Even though there were lots of people there, due to the gorgeous spring weather, it still seemed so peaceful and calming. A very nice way to enjoy spring before heading back to Normal for the work week.

We took a bazillion pictures so I tried to edit the number of pics I put in this post. Sorry if I still went a little overboard. Special thanks to Kevin for driving back while the rest of us took naps!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tax Day 2011!!!

Today is the day! I've made it through 3 years of tax seasons! Yay me!

I actually enjoy doing taxes way more than I ever thought I would after my not-so-perfect tax class grades at ISU. However, I also enjoy a simple 40 hour work week and am happy to be at that point in the year again.

A vacation, at this point, would be awesome! Maybe somewhere like here: 

Or St. Louis for the weekend. You know, whatever we can afford :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

We Made a Deal

Kevin has had facial hair for the last nine years... I've only known him for five. At the beginning of the year we made a deal that he would grow a beard for a month and then go clean shaven for a month. He's been growing the beard for 2 1/2 months now so it's time for the second half of this deal.

This what Kevin usually looks like :)

This is after 2 1/2 months of having a beard (with a trim or two)

up-close of beard


a couple of stops along the road to clean-shaven


It's different. Honestly, I 'm not sure what I think or feel. I can be very resistent to change so I'll have to re-evaluate after a few days of the "new" Kevin. :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Camera lovin doggies

A selection of pictures of Mia & Callie with our new Nikon SLR!