Friday, February 25, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Okay, so it's not quite Spring, but I don't like winter very much so we're just going to jump ahead, okay?

I've been meaning to clean out our "office" for quite some time. It's not really an office... it's actually just a closet off the guest bedroom that happens to be fairly large, and we took down the closet bar and stuck a desk in it. But it has A/C vents and electric outlets and everything, so it's almost like it was intended to be a mini-office rather than a closet!

Prior to today, the "office" was getting a little out of hand. We let it become a dumping ground for computer stuff, sewing stuff, gift wrap & gift bags, camping gear, office supplies, holiday decorations, Jeff's suits, and more. It ceased to be at all functional some time ago.

Jeff's gone on a business trip right now, which means I'm being super-productive! Yesterday, I cranked up my Pandora playlist and tackled the office right when I got home from school.

Before photos:

Can you even see the desk back there? Ahhh! It was impossible to even walk in!

Look, suits! Haha. And a shelf full of camping stuff and holiday decorations! And a printer buried in junk!

Ahhh disorganized shelves!

Yeah... it was driving me crazy. I moved Jeff's suits to our coat closet, and I found a new home for the camping stuff under the bed in the guest room, and then I just went through everything and threw away some things and organized everything else. SO much better now!

After photos:

Ahh, clean!

MUCH better.

Look! Organized! Also... I had no idea we had that many Post-its! Haha.



I even organized the shelves at the top of the room...

This corner houses all of our (non-Christmas and Fall) holiday decorations. I'll be getting out the Easter box pretty soon!

My sewing machine and sewing box are finally in an easily accessible place! I'm using "easily accessible" fairly liberally... they're easily accessible if you stand on the swivel chair. :o)

This is the technology graveyard. Two old laptops with all of their accessories, one old printer, one old keyboard, and one old set of fancy computer speakers. I have NO IDEA why we're keeping all of this, but you can't just throw away a laptop! Haha.

Now I just need to decide if I should hang those bulletin boards above the desk or find something artsy to go there instead. Decisions, decisions...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chicken and Quinoa Burritos

I used to never ever worry about how healthy my recipes were. Until law school happened, I had this rockstar metabolism that allowed me to eat a bowl of ice cream every night if I wanted. But now, I spend most of my day sitting on chairs or couches reading law books, and I'm just not the active person I used to be. So I've put on a few pounds in the tummy region.

My husband never had the super-quick metabolism thing going for him, so he used to be much more conscious than me about what he eats (with the exception of Saturday lunch at Whataburger, of course!). But, since we've been married I've been cooking most of our meals, and they're usually full of lots of yummy things like carbs and cheese. Plus, my incessant baking doesn't help.

So I came to the conclusion that it would be good for both of us if I started making healthier things for dinner. That's where this recipe came in...

Chicken & Quinoa Burritos
adapted from Real Simple magazine

whole-wheat tortillas (4)
cooked, shredded chicken (1 cup - I used the rotisserie kind because they were on sale at Kroger)
warm black beans (1 cup - we omitted this because I forgot to buy them)
cooked quinoa or brown rice (1 cup)
grated Monterey Jack cheese (1 cup)
cilantro sprigs (1 cup)
low-fat Greek yogurt (1/2 cup)

Put it all on a tortilla and roll it into a burrito. Duh.

Greek yogurt.

This is the kind we used...



Brown rice...

And cheese!

Then add the cilantro (this is Jeff's plate... mine only had like half that much on it. He likes his food to have strong flavors).

I don't have a picture of them rolled up, but you get the idea. :o)

Jeff really liked this recipe. He ate the leftovers for dinner the next night and was just as excited about it the second time.

I, on the other hand, reaffirmed my suspicion that I don't like healthy food. I think whole wheat tortillas taste like cardboard. I think Greek yogurt is just a not-as-great version of sour cream. And it smells weird. So if you're like me, don't mess with this recipe. But, if you actually like whole wheat tortillas and Greek yogurt, go for it! 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Wedding - Featured on The Flirty Guide

Are you sick of our wedding yet? I mean really... it's been over six months. I should probably stop talking about it, right? But first, I have to share something with you!

Lucky for me and my "I've-got-blogger's-block" self (it's like writer's block, but for bloggers!), another blogger took care of today's post for me! Stacie of The Flirty Guide contacted me recently about featuring our wedding, and I was just so excited! This is the first time our wedding has been featured on a website other than Weddingbee or Kelli Nicole Photography, and it makes me quite proud to see my carefully-planned soiree get a little attention.

So head on over to The Flirty Guide and click on my face on the left. Or, check it out on The Flirty Blog. Stacie did a great write-up about the wedding and about Spirals and Spatulas, and I'm sure she'd love it if you stopped by to check it out. Plus, you can look at that silly picture of me with the power drill again.

Have a lovely Tuesday!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Are you a good 1930's wife?

I recently came across this website and a post about "Marital Rating Scales" from the 1930s. I spent a year in college doing research on marital satisfaction in the Psyc department, so I find stuff like this amazingly interesting. Basically, you can go through and check boxes about your spouse and give them a score, which corresponds to a rating from "Very Poor" to "Very Superior."

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Some of my favorites...
Wives get merits for:

  • Let's husband sleep late on Sundays and holidays
  • Writes to husband's parents regularly
  • Gives husband shampoo or manicure
And they get demerits for...

  • Walks around house in stocking feet
  • Fails to wash top of milk bottle before opening it
  • Slows up card games with chatter or gossip
  • Squeezes toothpaste at the top
  • Wears red nail polish
  • Goes to bed with curlers in her hair or much face cream
Husbands get merits for...
  • Tries to keep wife equipped with modern labor-saving devices
  • Holds wife's coat
  • A fast and efficient worker - not the puttering sort

And they get demerits for...

  • Eats onions, radishes, or garlic before going to bed
  • Calls "Where is the ... ?" without first hunting for the object
  • Writes on tablecloth with pencil

The best part of this survey is that it's not just from a magazine or something... it was actually made by a psychologist with a PhD and a MD. He went around and did a scholarly study asking people what they liked and didn't like about their spouse, and then he combined it into this survey.

So while it's kind of hilarious because it's horribly outdated (e.g. wives get negative points if the seams in their hose are "often crooked"), it's actually a really good representation of how you would have been perceived in the 1930s!

Each survey is four pages - you can see the whole thing here. It's really fun to look at... so many of the things that spouses do/don't like about each other haven't changed at all! And just in case you were wondering, Jeff scored one point shy of the "Very Superior" category - and that was only because we don't have kids and I couldn't give him points for all the children-related ones! Haha.

Go take a look and see what sort of 1930s wife you would have been. Oh, and don't forget to go write to your in-laws and give your husband his shampoo tonight! :o)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Still Not Homeowners...

Remember when I posted pictures of the beautifulest townhouse in the whole wide world that house that Jeff and I found and seriously considered putting an offer on? Remember how I asked you to find something wrong with it and talk me out of it and you all did a horrible, horrible job? Haha.

Well, after lots (and lots and lots) of considering and counting and crying and other verbs that start with "c," we decided to just stay where we are and let someone else have the pretty house - at least for now. We've been to see it twice, and let me tell you - the house itself is absolutely perfect. There's not a single thing I would change (except that it doesn't have blinds right now, and I would want some of those). But, we're not totally sold on the area the house is in. It would make our morning commutes slightly longer, and it's just not as nice as the area that we live in now.

But really - this is the perfect kitchen!

Of course, the area we live in now has houses that have "butler's quarters" and wine cellars and six-car garages. And they cost many millions of dollars. So whenever we do buy a house, we're inevitably going to be moving somewhere that's not quite as nice. But, I don't think either one of us was really ready to do it just yet.

For example, this house is for sale down the street for $8.9 million.

If either Jeff or I had felt really strongly that we should just go for it, then we probably would have. But, we were both so undecided that we decided all the hesitation was a sign that we should just stay in our little apartment for now. Also, just so you get the full picture, I should tell you that there may or may not have been one night when we were really close to deciding to put an offer on it, and I randomly and totally unexpectedly began bawling my eyes out at the thought of someone else living in our apartment. There was lots of "but, but, but this is our first home togetherrrrr" and "remember when we found this apartment and we said is was perfect, and now it thinks we don't like it anyyymooooore" and "but, but they'll give someone else my kitchen... sniffle, and it'll probably be some guy who won't clean it... and he'll ruin my oven....sniff sniff"and "we just hung cur- sniffle - curtains...."

The first kitchen I ever fell in love with. I still can't bear the thought of letting someone else cook in it, apparently. 

Of course, that prompted Jeff to suggest that we move as soon as possible before I get any more emotionally attached (just kidding - sort of), but it prompted me to fall back in love with my cute little apartment and stop daydreaming about the cute little townhouse so much. So, for now at least, we're staying put. No promises though - if that house is still on the market in a couple months, who knows what will happen!

At the very least, this whole experience has prompted me to pay attention more in my Property class and really concentrate on a recent unit on real estate in my Law Practice Strategies class. I've got quite a bit of knowledge stored up on this whole real estate thing, so when the right house comes along, we'll be ready!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day, Spirals & Spatulas Readers! I got you some Sweet Tarts hearts and some pretty tulips. See?

Jeffrey Sean - thanks for being my Valentine. You are, and always will be, my very best friend in the entire world. I love being your wife, even though I think the word "wife" makes me sound old. Thanks for knowing pretty much everything there is to know about me, yet somehow not thinking I'm absolutely insane. You're wonderful.

Have a great day full of chocolate and flowers and fancy dinners... and maybe some cake balls?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day Decor

I know I told you that we don't really do Valentine's Day, but when I accidentally put our lovely Pier One placemats in the dryer and turned them into shrunken little mis-shapen rectangles, it seemed like a good opportunity to whip out my old red placemats from college and make the kitchen table a little February-festive.


Dark chocolate Valentine's M&Ms in another milk glass piece given to me by Jeff's grandma! She keeps giving us these beautiful pieces, and I just treasure them so much!

After a few days, I caught a glimpse of a pink pashmina in my scarf drawer and I just had to add it to the table to bring in a little pink! Wrinkled pashmina table runner = the best cheap decorating idea I've had in a while!

I love it when I can decorate using a bunch of things we already have. Now I'm just craving a set of solid white plates... maybe the modern-ish square kind? They would be so cute!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Spinach Mushroom Frittata

Frittatas are far superior to omelets. They're just as easy, if not easier, and although they take some extra baking time, I think the wait is well worth it!

This frittata is great because the recipe could be adapted to use whatever veggies/meats you have on hand, and you can make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge before cooking if you want!

Recipe adapted from here.

So many eggs!

This looks gross. But it will taste great later!

Ready for the oven!

Done! Yummm!

10 eggs
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup (10.75 oz)
1 10oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1. Heat oven to 375.
2. Spray an 8x8 pan lightly with cooking spray.
3. Beat the eggs in a large bowl with a whisk. Stir in the soup, spinach, 1 cup cheese, and pepper.
4. Pour the egg mixture into the dish.
5. Add the other 1/2 cup cheese on top.
6. Bake for 35 minutes, or until set.
7. EAT! Yummy!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Day Treats - Oreo Truffles & Cake Balls!

Here's a great pair of tried and true recipes to whip up for Valentine's Day! I took an assortment of both treats to law school, and they were rapidly devoured by my fellow law students. That means they're good!

Oreo Truffles:
1 package Oreos, finely crushed
1 package cream cheese, softened
1 package chocolate candy melt coating or almond bark coating

Mix the cream cheese and Oreos together. Form into balls and put in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Melt the candy melts (according to package directions - don't overheat!) and dip the balls in it. Top with sprinkles before the coating hardens.

You can mix food coloring in the white candy melts to get pink! This one has clear sugar crystals on top.

Plain white candy melts with red sparkle sugar!

Here's the inside!

Cake Balls:
1 box cake mix + whatever eggs/oil/water are needed
3/4 can icing
1 package chocolate candy melts or almond bark

Bake the cake according to the box directions. Let the cake cool. Crumble the cake and mix it with the icing (use your hands!). Form into balls and put in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Melt the candy melts (according to package directions - don't overheat!) and dip the balls in it. Top with sprinkles before the coating hardens.

These ones are funfetti cake + vanilla icing + chocolate candy coating...

I used my candy mold to make some white chocolate roses again!
(If you freeze them after they're done, they "sweat" like this when you take them out. If you store them in the fridge instead they won't do that.)

The inside!

These ones were strawberry cake + cream cheese icing + chocolate candy melts.


I love cake balls because there are infinite combinations you can create with different flavors of cake (yellow, red velvet, carrot, spice cake, lemon, etc.) and icing (strawberry, cream cheese, chocolate, vanilla, coconut pecan, cherry, lemon, fudge, etc.)! Plus, you can pretty much dress them up for any occasion! I put these in mini cupcake papers, but they look perfectly cute just sitting on a platter as well! 

PS - how cute are these cupcake papers that say "sweet?"

Also, just so you know, I may or may not have eaten five of them in a row for the sake of these photos... hehe. Is anybody else a cake ball fan? I haven't really got in to the whole "cake pops" thing, but I love these little guys!