There has been a lot going on of late. I would like to expound on each thing, but for now, I’ll just give you a quick overview.

I have started going to a chiropractor. I would venture that probably half of my church back home is going to this chiropractor. I went when I was a kid and Mom worked for one, but it has been a very long time. I had some discomfort in my left shoulder that gradually got more intense and into regular pain. So, I decided to hop on the bandwagon and check them out. I’m committed for a year (call me crazy!) and hopefully will see the good results my friends and church-family have been seeing. I’ll share more on this later, definitely. For now, you can just go check out their website.

Last Thursday (two Thursdays ago, I guess, since Sunday starts a new week), friends of mine gave offered us tickets to the Cincinnati Tennis event, ATP/WTA Western and Southern Open. I loooove professional tennis. It’s a lot of fun. Matt had never been to a game so that makes it even more fun for me. We were able to get tickets for Thursday night and watched Rafael Nadal play and then Serena Williams. They both won their matches. We even had box seats since the tickets were from someone who works with Rookwood Pottery – that’s an iconic Cincinnati pottery business and they make the trophies given out at the tournament. Very fun. This was our view for the evening:

tennis01 tennis02

Nadal had a wedgie the entire tournament and Matt commented on it every time he picked at it…well, maybe not every time. It felt like every time because he picked out his wedgie just about every play. I’m not a huge Nadal fan anyway, so it was annoying. But he’s one of the best in tennis history, so it’s still a good watch…unless he’s picking his wedgie. Dude, get some different undies.

Last Sunday, a man at Matt’s church was giving away from homegrown veggies. I grabbed up a zucchini and then sat around trying to figure out what to do with it. I also have some apples sitting around. Nice, plump, juicy apples. I got the big idea to add some apple to a zucchini bread. Sounds yummy, huh? Oh it was! But a word of warning – it might be a better idea to dry out the apple bits before adding them to your zucchini bread recipe. As it was, my recipe made either 24 muffins or 2 loaves of bread. I just have one pan for each, so I made 12 muffins and 1 loaf. Everything took probably twice as long to bake. I was up very late. I am wondering if the muffin recipe I have just makes really dense breads. I have yet to figure out how to make nice, fluffy breads. I’m guessing it is just something to learn. Regardless, they WERE very yummy! It’s almost all gone between Matt and I. Very dense. I would share the recipe with you, but I’m not really sure it worked the way it was supposed to. So, you can go to and look up “apple zucchini” recipes. There are a bunch of things on there. I’m so glad.


Lastly, We were getting kind of low on our laundry detergent. I pinned more than a year ago this recipe for making your own. Claims to get 9 months of use out of $22+ of ingredients. That sounds fabulous! We haven’t had to buy detergent yet, so I thought it might be time to go ahead and make our own.

Here is the website with the original recipe:

It smelled so good while I was mixing it all together, and all the ingredients are supposed to be gentle for sensitive skin. I used it for my laundry last night and everything smells great! Only 1-2 tablespoons for each load. It’s just the two of us (as opposed to the blogger’s 5-member family) so I’m hoping it lasts us way longer than 9 months.


Oh and all of our ingredients cost $22.10. Woot! Matt’s mother saw my pin and made this over a year ago. She has awful water to work with at their house and this is the only stuff that seems to work and actually get their clothes looking, feeling, smelling clean. When I posted pictures of the finished product, people came out of the woodwork on Facebook commenting about how they have been making their own and love it or asking questions about how to go about doing it themselves. As you can see, we have an HE washer, but it doesn’t seem to have any problem with the detergent. I put the date on some freezer tape and stuck it to the side of the box so I can see how long this batch lasts. I’m pretty pumped.

Have a great week everyone! Hopefully, I can check in with you before another week and a half rolls by.

Oh, and our sunflowers are kickin’ it!



Birthday and Recipe

So, Friday was my birthday! Yippee! Last year to be in my twenties and I’m starting it out right – married! Such a different way of life than I’m used to, but I’m loving every minute of it. Except when the Huz is working 3rds and I have to sleep by myself. That part isn’t so much fun.

But back to the birthday.

A day early, my dad stopped by my work to give me a gift from him and my step-mom. It was very appropriate for me. in fact, I believe I remember seeing a similar one elsewhere, perhaps at the Cox Arboretum gift shop.


Sadly, I had to work most of the day Friday. But when Huz got home, he had brought flowers and my gifts in. They were pretty fab gifts. It’s like he knows me or something.


Yep, that’s birdseed and a bat house. I absolutely cannot wait to get the bat house and the “Space available” sign up. I love bats so much. Now, don’t go thinking that I’m crazy or anything. Bats are incredibly helpful! One North American Brown Bat can eat a pound of mosquitoes EACH night! I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand mosquitoes. That automatically puts them up on the list. Although, spiders are good for mosquito catching…but spiders don’t have sweet little, almost puppy-like faces.

You cannot tell me that that face isn’t cute 🙂

We have to find a good place for the house. They like high locations with easy access and in direct sunlight for most of the day (they like it hot in their homes…probably another reason why I like them some much). I think I’ll need to call the OSU Extension office here soon. Besides, I have to figure out what we’re going to do with our weeping cherry tree.

Saturday is a free day. Huz will be sleeping until about 3 and then we can run around and go see a movie, maybe buy me a new computer (we have leftover wedding money) – one with a number pad…and Microsoft Office. Sigh…that would be so nice. It’s my excuse for not putting together a house budget yet. Maybe I should postpone a little longer….hmm.

Oh, Thursday night, I decided I wanted to bake and make the house smell yummy. I picked up some strawberries and came home to get started. The plan was to make strawberry muffins, but that quickly changed into a strawberry loaf. Same concept, just wanted to break in the new Pampered Chef stone loaf pan we got as a gift. I’m so glad I did. It turned out super yummy. Because it was muffin batter, it was a little dense (think Amish friendship bread) but it was great and when lathered with a layer of cream cheese….yum!

I had some friends request the recipe I used, so here it goes. The “putting together” part is a little tricky, but I haven’t had a bad batch using this method. I’ll put the instructions for the muffins or the loaf.


Strawberry (or other fruit) Muffins or Loaf


1 cup milk
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)

1 cup chopped fruit

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 or 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional…but always recommended!)


1. Preheat oven to 400*F (205C) for muffins or 375*F (191C) for a loaf.
2. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. If making a loaf, grease the inside of the pan (stone pans don’t need to be greased unless they haven’t been used often).
3. In a small bowl, combine the wet ingredients (oil, milk, egg, vanilla). Beat lightly.
4. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon).
5. Toss in fruit and coat with dry mixture.
6. Pour wet mixture into the dry and stir together.
7. Spoon batter into cups or pour into loaf pan.
8. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Tops should bounce back from touch. If making a loaf, bake for about 45-50 minutes. Use a toothpick to determine if the center is finished baking.

Here are a couple of variations to consider:

* For a crunchy top, sprinkle sugar over batter before baking. It’s important you do it before you bake…it just doesn’t work if it’s after. Trust me. *facepalm*
* For a sweeter top, spread raw honey over the top of muffins after baked (still warm). I haven’t done this with the loaf, but I imagine that it would taste about the same. Love that raw honey!
* Chunky Monkey Muffins – I made these in Japan and they were sooooo good! Substitute the whole cup of fruit with this mixture: 1/2 cup chopped banana and another 1/2 cup of small marshmallows, nuts (I think I used crushed walnuts), and mini chocolate chips (you’ll have a total of 1 cup fruit+extras, not a 1/2 cup for each of those items).



I’ll leave you with a couple other shots.


Isn’t she pretty? I still don’t have a name for her. I need a name people. Help a lady out here!


I think the best thing about having silverware all different colors is that when I pull them out of the dishwasher, I can easily grab all of the same kind and put them away more quickly. And…it’s pretty to look at.

Have a great rest of your weekend and, oh yeah, Happy Father’s Day!

Getting Married: 24 Weeks – Christmas Baking

My family loves to bake. We traditionally have had a family-wide baking day soon after Thanksgiving to make goodies for friends and others. Without getting into the dietary spiel, there’s something about putting a sweet, warm cookie in your mouth that makes you feel good. C’mon, you know exactly what I’m talking about. We go all out too.

This year, my sisters and their kids were unable to join us, and with my work schedule and tutoring, I wasn’t much help either. Mom, however, started early, working on the chocolates and such. The chocolate Mom gets is so yummy and doesn’t have any of the wax fillers that is common in most store-bought chocolates. We do everything from chocolate molds to chocolate covered pretzels to turtles to buckeyes to chocolate mice. Yes, these:


They are a blast to make and always make an impression. I was telling the girls at work that we usually hear one of two things:

Oh, these are way too cute to eat!


I want two! One to eat and one to show [insert name].

The buckeyes are my babies. I love making them. I found the recipe on and they are delectable. You can find them, too, here.

And then we get into the cookies. Mom really goes all out with the cookies. She made several kinds of bar cookies this year and they were yummy. I’m really only good for our standard World-Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies. Yes, they are world-famous because I made them in Japan and shared them with the international students at Shidai, the city university. The word has gone out to the world that these chocolate chip cookies are the best. I can say that and it’s not bragging because everyone else will agree with me. No joke. Just ask them. If they don’t, then they haven’t had them. 😀 (I may or may not be kidding. Ha!)

One of my favorite parts is the delivery. We were able to deliver a couple of boxes of goodies to friends and neighbors Saturday night. We even got some yummy, supa-hot, salsa in exchange.

On a funny note, my mom and I love to sing. My whole family does, but when we deliver goodies to people’s’ homes, we especially like to sing. We chose We Wish You a Merry Christmas this year.

This reminds me of a great story from when I was in junior high. We drove over to my friend Rebecca’s house to deliver some Christmas goodies. It had been snowing and so all the houses were blanketed in a lovely white fluff and mom and I were bundled up in our coats with hoods. We went up to the door, knocked, and started singing our song. It took a while for them to get to the door and open it, but once they did, we saw a man blocking his wife and kids with his arm looking out at us like we were serial killers. We quickly realized our mistake and tried to gracefully bow out and head next door, but we have this problem where our gut reaction is to start laughing. So, here we are giggling and trying to make good with this freaked out man and family. They wouldn’t even take any treats as an apology. It was really quite funny. We walked over to the next house and began the routine all over again, pleased to find that it was indeed Rebecca’s house. We all had a great laugh that night.

What are your favorite treats to make at Christmas? Have anything that you cannot wait to bake, or something that you love to get from a friend or relative?


I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on