I'm a cooking machine!!!

I only eat breakfast on weekends.  I know that's terrible, but I just can't seem to drag myself out of bed early enough during the week.  Week day "breakfast" usually consists of a granola bar and some coffee at my desk.  Saturday is a little better with a bagel and some fruit before I head out to the Farmer's Market.  But Sunday... oh I love Sunday breakfast.  This is the one day when Kevin (if he is off) and I go all out.... bacon & eggs, loaded french toast, omelettes, anything we want.  A big Sunday breakfast is our thing. 

For breakfast this morning, I decided to make one of my southern faves... Sunny Side Up Stuffing Muffins.  Sounds a little odd... bear with me...

Ingredients (makes 6 muffins):
  • 1 Box of Stove Top Stuffing Mix (any kind), follow directions on box to prepare.  I use chicken stock/broth instead of water for more flavor
  • 1/2 lb hot sausage (can be any kind of sausage, but DH likes it hot!!)  cook and crumble into small pieces
  • 1/2 Shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
  • 6 eggs sunny side up, or however you like them cooked
Mix cooked sausage into the stuffing and press into Pam sprayed muffin tins.  This should be enough to fill 6 large muffins about 3/4 way full.  Bake in the oven at 350* for about 10 min.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle cheese on top of each muffin (toally optional, but who doesn't love cheese?) and return to oven for 1-2 minutes, until cheesse melts.

Top each muffin with a sunny side up egg.  YUM!!!
Next up... Bacon Topped BBQ Stuffed Jalapenos

We made these for a party that we hosted a few weeks ago.  They turned out perfectly and I have been kind of craving them ever since.  Well, yesterday I got a great deal on a huge box of jalapenos at the Farme's Market... so I figured that ws a sign that I should make them again.
Ingredients (makes 24):
  • 12 jalapeno peppers, halved.  Clean out seeds, ribs
  • 1 brick (8oz) cream cheese
  • 1 cup leftover BBQ meat (can be brisket, pork, chicken) for this, I used chicken
  • 1 cup cheese (I use 1/2c parmesean, 1/2c shdredded cheddar)
  • 12 pieces cooked bacon, cut in half
Chop leftover BBQ meat, combine with cream cheese and cheese.  Fill each pepper half with cream cheese mixture and top with 1/2 piece of bacon.  Grill or bake in oven at 400* for 5 minutes.  Spicy!!!


Happy Monday???

For some crazy reason, I woke up in a great mood today!  Which is odd, because I have to be at work this whole week at 7am vs 730 or 8.  So... my alarm went off at 545 instead of 630... and I did not greet it by throwing it across the room or with a stream of @#%*&%#$&%..... I am just ridiculously happy today!!!  I have no idea why... but I just know, for some reason, this is going to be an awesome week!!!



It's Saturday.

Normally, I greet my Saturdays with a few extra hours of sleep, shopping at the Farmers Market, more shopping, lounging around with my super awesome puppy... followed by a nice dinner with the hubby.

Instead of sleeping in and goofing off all day, I decided to pick up an extra shift at my per diem job.  I just wanted to keep moving, stay busy and try to take my mind off things.  Seemed like a good idea... in theory... but when my alarm went off at 6am, I hated life.

I made it through my shift and (thank God) did not get sent to the Labor & Delivery or post-partum floor... but I felt like I was just in a fog all morning.  After work, Kevin and I took our brothers to catch the last 1/2 of our friends' breast cancer charity softball tournament.  "Save Second Base"... cute name, huh?  Our team won... which is awesome... but even amidst the celebration, I still just felt... "blah". 

I will get to sleep in tomorrow and, hopefully, find a way to snap myself out of this funk.


It hit me... hard

I managed to hold it together through work all day yesterday.  I joked around.  Laughed and smiled.  Acted like normal Monica.  Deep inside I just felt like I had this huge empty hole.  Just a few days ago I spent my lunch hour browsing online at maternity clothes and thinking about how a baby would effect my work schedule.  Now... nothing.  My mind wanders... and usually back to thoughts of "the baby"... but no longer plans and preparation... just sadness.

But still, I was proud that I was able to make it through the day with a (fake) smile.  Yay for me.

I got home, enjoyed a nice dinner with Kevin and our brothers.  We started playing some board games... which turned into drinking games.. which turned into beer pong.  I think they were all happy to see me back to my normal self, playing around and having a great time.  I think they were also pretty happy that I could drink with them again.

Mike and Chad decided that they wanted to continue the party at a bar nearby, but I was pretty... well... sh!tfaced... so I stayed home.  Kevin must have known what was about to happen, so he offered to drop them off at the bar then pick them up later.

I don't know exactly what triggered it or how it happened, but by the time (literally about 10 minutes) Kevin dropped them off and got back home, I was curled up on the bathroom floor, balling hysterically.  It hit me... and it hit me hard.

All of the emotioons that I had supressed... the sadness and confusion and anger... came flooding out.  I thought that I had a pretty good cry on my way home Wednesday... but before I walked in the door, I had to wipe my eyes and put on a smile again.  I didn't want to let the boys (Kevin and our brothers) see me cry.  Last night was completely, totally raw.  I just kept saying "I don't understand... I just don't understand."  Kevin (I am so lucky to have him), held me and did his best to comfort me.  Even Lucy tried to snuggle and make me feel better.

I woke up this morning with a terrible hangover and a sense of relief.  I have never really been a crier... but I think, for some reason, that I needed that.  I needed to come to terms with my feelings and... well... let them out. 

Today, I still feel sad and confused (and did I mention, massively hungover)... but not angry.  I know God will never give me more than I can handle.  And with the love and support of my family, friends, wonderful husband and awesome puppy... I can handle this.  Only a few more weeks and we will try, try again.

Now to get rid of this horrendous hangover.  Ugh!!!



Just as quickly as my world turned upside down with a positive pregnancy test last week... my little world got flipped upside down again this morning.

Yesterday I noticed some spotting and I got really nervous.  For whatever reason, I decided to take another pregnancy test (to reassure myself, maybe?)... and it was negative.  I freaked out and bought 3 more.  all 3 came back negative.  I was so sick and upset all night.  This morning, I bled pretty bad.  I called my OB as soon as they opened and explained... they had me come right over.

A trans-vaginal ultrasound confirmed what I feared... I had a "chemical" pregnancy or an early miscarriage... I was trying to prepare for the worst, pray for the best... but I think I was still holding out hope... I think I am just numb right now. 

Kevin is devastated.  He managed to talk his boss into letting him leave work early to come to the appointment with me, then tried to talk me into taking the rest the day off, but I couldn't stand the thought of spending the rest of the day in bed crying.  I wanted to stay busy.

I managed to hold it together through the rest of the day at work and through class for Mental Health Nursing (ironically, one of the topics was loss, grief and depression).  I lost it on the way home.  I sobbed and slobbered all over my steering wheel.  I can't believe I lost a baby.

I was only about 5 or 6 weeks along.  I had only known I was pregnant for a few days.  But from the moment I read the test I fell in love.  I daydreamed about names, a nursery, browsed at maternity clothes... I couldn't wait to be a mother.  It's amazing how quickly your world can change... and then in the blink of an eye, change again.

We plan to take a month off to heal, and then try again... but for now all I am able to think about is my little angel baby.


So... I've been slacking

In my defense, it's been kind of an eventful week.  First, my brother and brother-in-law showed up unannounced in the middle of the night.  I am not complaining at all... we are so happy to have them here, but you know how busy things get with house guests.

Then my Pure Romance Party on Wednesday with my CNY Knotties.... this was an absolute blast!  Great food, hilarious games and I loaded up on some exciting umm... accessories for Kevin and I. 
Then on Saturday, we hosted a beer and wine tasting party for some of our friends.  The food turned out great and the company was fabulous!  We always love hosting get togethers with our friends and having our brothers here (both to help and to hang out) made it even better!

And somewhere in the midst of our monster party week....
we found out that we are expecting!!  Squeeeeee!!!

We have so much to think about and so much to talk about over the next few days, so I might not be around much, but I will do my best to keep this updated.  This crazy ride that is my life is about to start spinning even faster.

Oh- and did I mention that I start back to school on Monday.  YIKES!



So this morning after my shower, I ran down the stairs in my chonies to throw a pair of pants in the dryer (to get the wrinkles out, ya know)... Hanging from my ceiling at the bottom of my stairs was a huge piece of tape with a sign that said "Surprise" then something else that I didn't bother to read.  I thought Kevin had gotten me some sort of gift, so I happily bounced down the last few stairs and...

GASP!! HOLY !%$#!%^&$#

There were 2 people sleeping on my couch.  I covered myself and ran upstairs to re-read the note (and to WTF my hubby AND my super vicious guard dog).

"Surprise!  We got in later than expected.  Please let us sleep!"
It would have been wise to read the entire note before bouncing down the stairs in my undies.

So WHO is it? 
My super fun brother and super awesome brother-in-law.  They are like best buddies now and it's hilarious!  They have been planning to surprise us for like a week now.  I am SOOO excited that they are here... and so thankful that they slept through my impromptu fashion show.



It is beautiful out today!  And the perfect day to wear my latest ebay find... a super summery coral, black and ivory wrap/tank dress. 
Dress:  Constance Marie (bought from ebay)
Espardelle Wedges:  Colin Stuart (from VS online)


Recipe: Southern Comfort

I had a rough day.  I worked my first shift at my per diem job since April.  While the shift itself wasn't too terrible... it still wasn't as awesome as my normal Saturday.  Needless to say, when I got home, I was ready to console myself with some yummy comfort food and an ice cold beer.
 My Southern Comfort Dinner:
Country (Baked) Fried Steak, Rough Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Corn and White Gravy
Cube steak (cheap cut of meat, but perfect for this dish)
Dip in an egg wash with egg, milk and pepper
Coat in bread crumbs with pepper and seasonings to taste
Bake at 350* for one hour
Boil potatoes (skins on) and give a rough, choppy mash with only a little bit of milk, salt and pepper
White Gravy:
I cheated (gasp!), used a seasoning packet and mixed with 1 cup each of milk and water (vs 2 cups water, makes it creamier)
Sweet Corn:
Frozen steamer bag from Wegmans


#1 Fan

DH plays softball on Fridays.  Every Friday.  This Friday just so happened to be the annual Brew at the Zoo, best charity fundraiser- ever. 

As much as I absolutely love BATZ, it just wouldn't be the same without him, so I offered to go to his game. 
There is something super sexy that I see in him every time I watch him play sports (with the exception of beer pong.  Ok maybe even sometimes beer pong).  I don't know if it's the whole muscle thing or the competitive attitude he gets.  Whatever it is, I love it and I love being his #1 fan! 


Not your average "Tupperware" party

So... a few weeks ago, one of my best friends, Allison, asked me to go to a sex toy party with her.  I balked.  "I'm not really into that sort of thing" picturing a bunch of girls sitting in a circle passing around fake ding dongs while a hooker-esque lady talks about yucky stuff.  Mature, I know.

She said there would be wine, so I caved and went, joking with my hubby that I was just going to a "tupperware" party.  I was still a little leary of the whole thing, but it was nothing like I imagined and I had a hilariously good time.  I can't believe at 28, I had never been to one of these "naughty" parties.  It was actually very refreshing to sit around with a group of women, mostly married, and talk openly about sex.  What works, what feels good, all the silly stuff that our men do.  I joke about it all the time... but really talk about it... pretty much never.

Last night, Allison hosted her own party.  So, of course, I went... and had a blast.  We played silly games, tested some products, had some yummy apps and awesome wine slushies.  Quality girl bonding time.

I have decided to host my own party next week.  It is going to be a CNY Knottie/Pure Romance party... I can't wait to see how everything turns out. 

Next up, I plan to post reviews on some of the products I purchased.  My fav so far... Body Dew!!!



I've been really into flowy tops and bat-sleeves lately... oh and my super killer deal white pants.  I am going to be very sad to retire them after Labor Day.  Maybe I will make it my mission to re-write that silly fashion rule.  Anyway... ta-daaaa! 
Please excuse the sloppy hair... just got out of the shower.
Top:  Dark purple bat-sleeve shirt from TJ Maxx
Pants:  White linen from Banana Republic  **bought these Black Friday shopping for $2.99... how awesome is that?
Shoes:  Chunky brown wedges from Target


Top 10

A fellow CNY Knottie, acmj11/, posted a hilarious "Top 10" list yesterday and I wanted to share... keep in mind she has been planning her wedding for about 18 months and is just 10 days away.  For anyone who is in the planning stages or recently married, this will probably ring a bell.  Enjoy.

"Top 10 Reasons to Elope

10.  Writing out the invitations by hand.  I did EVERY SINGLE ONE by myself.  It really sucked.  A lot.

9.  Figuring out the rehearsal dinner.  OMG!  Formal vs. casual, inside vs. outside.  I lost this one, and you know what?  It wasn't even worth it. This was more stressful than I ever thought it would be.  Good thing we're getting married on a Friday.  Because our rehearsal is on a Thursday, we were able to book it last minute.

8.  The expense.  Grrrr...I originally wanted something untraditional, lowkey, etc.  Somehow everything spiraled out of control.  Our guest list got up to 260 and it turned into this big formal production.  I come from a BIG Italian family...I guess I should have seen it coming.

7.  Oh, so you're RSVPing for 2?  That's interesting because I didn't invite your plus one.

6.  This seating chart is driving me insane.  Sit where I put you and like it

5.  Fighting the Bridezilla urge.  Now I really think I've been a reasonable and easy going bride.  All I asked for was a black patent leather shoe.  I don't care what height, whether its strappy, or a pump, or open-toed.  Why are you fighting me on this?  Don't make me remind you that the specific pair I was forced to wear for your wedding is sitting in my closet and I will never wear them again.

4.  This one kind of goes hand in hand with number 7.  When the seamstress pinned my sister's dress at the knee to be hemmed, she remarked, "Are you sure that's wear you want it?  One of the other bridesmaids got hers a lot shorter."  Seriously????  I'm going to take deep breaths and hope for the best on this one.

3.   Just because you asked me to be in your wedding, does not mean I owe it to you to be in mine.  Just because I don't ask you doesn't mean we're not friends.  Get a grip and be thankful that you get to come without shelling out the extra cash you would have if you were in the wedding party.

2.  Grrrr.... weddings and blended families do NOT mix.  I don't think I have to elaborate on this one.

1.  I can't wait until things go back to normal with my family.  My dad can't handle anything and I don't really feel like I should be talking to my stepmom about everything.  For crying out loud, dad, it's YOUR daughter's wedding!!" 

Athena has inspired me to create my own "Top 10" list, which I will work on this week... for now... back to the grind.



So...  I have never done an OOTD post, but I was feeling pretty snazzy today in my new stretchy shimmery navy blue pants that I swiped off the clearance rack at Target.  Love Target.
White tank and 1/2 sleeve cardigan also from Target.  Hard to see them, but Nude patent pumps from Steve Madden.
Lucy wanted to enjoy a moment in the spotlight too while I was trying to get a better pic of the shoes.

Recipe: Red, White and Blue Nachos

Red:  Homemade Salsa
          - 3 Medium Plum Tomatoes
          - 1 Large Red Pepper
          - 1/2 Large Red/Purple Onion
          - 2 Small Serrano Chili Peppers
          - Small Bunch of Cilantro
     Dice all (I use a Slap Chop... so easy) and mix together.

White:  Queso Cheese and Chicken
          - 1 Brick of Pepper Jack Cheese, melted
          - 1lb Chicken, season with Salt, Pepper and Cayenne   Pepper (my hubby likes it HOT!)
          - 2 Small Serrano Chili Peppers, diced
      Grill chicken, dice and stir into melted queso

Blue:  Blue Corn Tortilla Chips

Serve layered, super yummy!

Meet the family

So... since I am on a roll with introducing myself, I thought I should also introduce my lovely family.
My wonderful husband, Kevin, and I met through the Marine Corps on our way to Djibouti, Africa.  Yes, that's a real place.  I actually lol'd when I found out I was being sent there for a deployment.  I thought it was a joke.  I got a gruff "you might want to look at a map, Sergeant" and felt like an uneducated moron. 

Anyway, Kevin is the sweetest guy ever and I am so truly blessed to call him my husband!  Lucky girl!

Next up... our darling little one... Lucy!!  (XP from "Meet Lucy Page)
We new for a long time that we wanted to add a little one to our family... we waited for a house, then we waited til the wedding madness was over and we returned from our honeymoon.

We are so blessed to welcome Lucy to our family!
She is an Olde English Bulldog and we love love LOVE her!!!

Having a puppy is very much like having a baby.  Since bringing her home, our lives have changed drastically.  We can no longer simply run errands on the way home from work or take off on a weekend trip on a whim.  In short, our lives now revolve around her.  We  wouldn't have it any other way... lost sleep, extra loads of laundry and all.

So... that's it... for now... just Kevin, Lucy and I.  One happy little fam-damily!!