Monday, January 31, 2011

Trip to Montana

I've got a lot of pictures to share from our trip to Montana. It was an incredible trip, we got to meet a ton of incredible people, see the most beautiful landscapes and had so much fun! Things are still pretty jumbled around here, my aunt passed away on Wednesday and everything has just been crazy. I just wanted to get on here and post up a few things, I will have lots more to share later as well!

Our trip started at 3am on Saturday, we had to be at the airport by 4:30 because our flight was scheduled for 6:40. We were sent our bags to pack, plane tickets and prepaid visa cards to pay our checked baggage fee. Everything was completely taken care...the only cost to us was at the parking lot when we returned. It was an extremely long day of traveling, we ended up with a 3 hour layover in Minneapolis and not much to do. I would say the best part of the entire day of travel was that we got bumped to first class. That's right, we were sitting in Minneapolis waiting for our flight to board and no one had seat assignments, DB walked up to the desk to ask where we would be sitting but the man didn't know yet. When the plane started to board apparently we were the only ones without seats, the airline had overbooked their flight by 12 people and kept asking for volunteers to take a later flight, they offered incentive, of course, but we weren't interested. Most people were already on the plane when we were asked to stand to the side and wait but told that we would most definitely be on this flight, we just had to wait to see where we'd be seated. Apparently, push came to shove and a couple did not show up for their first class seats, leaving us to sit in them! All I wanted to do was sleep but it was incredibly exciting, the seats were more comfortable and there was so much more space to wiggle around in. I know it's cheesy but it was just neat to sit up in the front and have special little things like actual glasses for beverage and DB was really excited that he was offered Sun chips instead of pretzels (I prefer pretzels). When we reached Montana everything was set up for us to grab some food and hang out until a bus took us up to the ranch. 
When we checked into our room we had some awesome gifts waiting for us. To be prepared for our winter activities we were given nice warm Solstice jackets, gloves, Columbia boots, wool socks, head bands, beanies, Bolle sunglasses, neckwarmers and thermal underwear. The ranch also set us up with nice Stetson cowboy hats, Swiss Army pocket watch alarm clocks and DB got himself a brand new digital camera. It was so exciting to walk into this already amazing room to find presents everywhere, it was like Christmas all over again!

I have so much more to share, it was truly an incredible trip and so much fun! I will post as much as I can in among the craziness, I apologize that it's taken me a week to just get this much posted! I hope everyone is having a great start to their week!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Awful? To say the least

It's been a while. We were on our trip to Montana from Saturday to Tuesday night, the minute we got off the plane my mom told my my aunt was in the hospital. She had been having a hard time breathing with asthma for months and this time was bad, my uncle tried to get her in the truck when they decided to call an ambulance. Everything happened on Monday, when I was still in Montana and I had no idea, I didn't know until my mom called me when we landed in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night and it was too late to go to the hospital. First, thing Wednesday morning I headed to the hospital and it was awful. I was at the hospital the majority of the day, my aunt passed away in the evening and I got to  my grandma's to pick up the dogs only to find out something is sticking out of Lucky's rectum and it's too late to go to a regular vet. We had to take her to the emergency clinic that's nearly an hour away for the woman to tell me she wasn't concerned and charge me a hundred dollars. Whatever it was went back in and that I needed to watch her. I had a call this morning from my regular vet to check on her and I just called them back, whatever this is does not look like something she could have chewed up and eaten, so I'm very worried. The tech said she would talk to the vet and call me back, so that is what I'm waiting on now.

Needless to say I am a complete wreck, the trip was amazing but this return couldn't have been much worse. DB had to go straight to work first thing yesterday morning so I have been pretty much on my own. I promise I have a large amount of amazing pictures from our trip and it was just truly incredible to say the least! I just have to get through all of this and I promise I will get some amazing pictures loaded up and some great stories about our trip.I know when it rains it pours so hopefully this is the end of that and we can take in a little sunshine here soon!

I hope everyone else is having a much better week.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mailbox Monday

I won a trip to Montana back in late fall and I'm so excited it's actually this weekend! This week, not so much in my mailbox as actually sitting on my porch was a very large box. I knew that I was supposed to be expecting tickets and some paperwork in the mail but I figured on a large envelope so I wasn't sure what the box was.
2 large suitcase/bags and Lucky's favorite sock in the background. These bags are awesome, they have hard plastic on the bottom with wheels and a pull-out handle. They are literally big enough that you could sit on this thing and use it as a sled. There are large pockets on the sides that will be a perfect fit for shoes or boots. Then, I had a knock on the door this time it was FedEx with another box. This box I had to sign for because it had our plane tickets and paperwork.
This box, though much smaller, was even more exciting! The smaller box contained our plane tickets to and from the lodge, our paperwork and activities line up, 2 hats to wear on the way, name tags for our luggage and prepaid credit cards to cover the luggage check fee. I'm so excited but I'm also pretty nervous. I hate leaving the dogs but I know they will be with my grandma, she always takes great care of them and they love it there.

I really need to get this house to spotless status, there's nothing better than coming home to a perfectly clean house when you're away for a few days. I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I love a good deal

DB and I had some running around to do last night and one of the places we had to run was walmart. It's definitely not my favorite store, especially the one closest to my house, they really don't do well with coupons and their customer service is really crappy so I don't go often. DB said he needed a lock and some windshield wiper fluid so we looked around a little and check out what I found.
I know the picture isn't great but each of these shirts were marked down to $1. I know there have been better deals in the history of walmart but I'm stoked. The blue polo was down from $8, my delicious new monster cereal shirt down from $7.50 and the little one is down from $4 so I grabbed it for my nephew's birthday.

I have to go back out to the mall and the pet store so I'm hoping my luck will stretch through tonight and I can find DB some nice shoes for a good deal. I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Christmas Basket

For Christmas I really didn't know much of what to get my MIL. She's a huge I Love Lucy fan but we have always gotten her that stuff and she pretty much has everything we can possibly get for her. We did get her an I Love Lucy blender salt and pepper shaker set.
For some reason when it arrived and I opened it to check I swore I had seen this set in her cabinet and was so afraid she already had it. In a panic the day before Christmas Eve, (when we had dinner) I grabbed a basket and ribbon and quickly threw it all together.
The basket was very plain. I love baskets they can hold so much and make for a nice decoration.
I quickly got my hot glue gun warmed up and slapped some ribbon around it with a bow. I was pretty nervous it wasn't going to be nice but I think it actually turned out pretty cute. The treats made it all kinds of better and she loved it. When she opened her presents that night I was also relieved to find out that she did not have the salt and pepper shakers, I was just paranoid.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Free bottle of Country Bob's

Head over to Country Bob's to get your coupon for a free bottle of  their all purpose sauce.
Get your bottle of Country Bob's Here

Peanut Butter filled Chocolate Cookies

Peanut butter chocolate cookies are absolutely delicious! These cookies are a bit more time consuming than any of the other recipes I've shared but it's not hard just tedious.

The first thing to do is mix up the peanut butter filling to refrigerate. This part is quick and easy.

1 Cup Peanut butter
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar

Mix the peanut butter and powdered sugar and refrigerate while you're preparing your cookie dough.

Next up, getting your ingredients together for the cookie mix. 

1 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ Cup Sugar
1 Cup of softened butter (2 sticks)
16 oz. cream cheese (use 1 ½ packs for cookies, save half for frosting)
2 Tsp. vanilla
2 Eggs
4 cups flour
½ Cup Cocoa Powder
2 Tsp. Baking Powder

In a large bowl cream the brown sugar, sugar, butter and cream cheese until mixed well. Blend in vanilla and egg.  Sift flour into a separate bowl and add cocoa and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to wet mix and mix well. Shape the dough into 1 inch balls, place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet and make a thumb imprint. In the imprint add your peanut butter filling and work chocolate from cookie over peanut butter. (This part you do not have to do you will just have more of a peanut butter thumbprint cookie rather than filled.)   
 All of this is pretty simple and easy, when you are working the cookie to cover the peanut butter it can be a bit of work. Again, you don't have to get the peanut butter covered it's really just preference.

Bake for 9-12 minutes at 350 and cool. Pour frosting over top when completely cool. While your cookies are baking you can get the frosting mixed up quickly.

2 Cups powdered sugar (sifted)
4 Tbsp. Cocoa Powder
3-4 Tbsp. milk
4 oz. cream cheese

Mix the dry ingredients then add the milk and cream cheese.
 My frosting was a little runny so I had to stick my cookies in the freezer for it to set right but you can add powdered sugar to get a thicker consistency.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies

Pumpkin Cookies
1 1/2 Cups pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 Cups butter
2 Cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Mix the pumpkin, sugar, butter and vanilla. Mix the dry ingredients and add to pumpkin mix. Spoon onto a cookie sheet at 350 for 15 minutes.
This recipe is also super simple and very quick! I also love to add chocolate chips to the mix! I know that chocolate chips with pumpkin cookies don't sound the most appetizing but they are delicious! 
I don't know why this picture came out so blurry but the cookies came out wonderfully! They are super soft like fluffy chocolate chip cookies that taste like pumpkin and cinnamon!


Sugar Cookies

I love to make sugar cookies and DB loves to eat them! A few years ago I got the a bucket with lots of different cookie cutters for all different holidays so it's fun to make them for holidays.
The recipe is super simple and pretty quick too! The best way to get the shapes apart from the dough is to refrigerate the dough ball overnight.

Sugar Cookies
1 Cup butter
3 Cups flour
½ Tsp. vanilla
¼ Cup milk
2 eggs
1 Tsp. baking soda
1 Cup sugar
1 Tsp. Salt

First, sift flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Mix in butter until the mix is crumbly. Mix the vanilla into slightly beaten egg and add the milk. Add the egg mix into dry ingredients and form a large ball. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Once your dough has chilled in the refrigerator pull it out of the fridge to roll and cut bake at 350 for 8 minutes. 
The icing  depends on the consistency you prefer, I like to just turn the cookies upside down and dip them so I make the icing pretty syrupy.

For the icing just mix powdered sugar and milk to the consistency you want. Once I've mixed it the way I want I add food coloring and this time I added cinnamon flavoring oil to the red icing.

The cinnamon icing was absolutely delicious and DB had most of these cookies eaten up in no time.