Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Oreo Marshmallow Brownies

I don't even think this requires a recipe post, but I'll do it anyway. This is the easiest twist on brownies you'll ever see. If you want a gooey-oreo-y block of chocolatey goodness in your mouth, this is the right place for you.

What you need:
Box of brownie mix (any!) + ingredients listed on the box
1 cup marshmallows
about 10 oreos (I used chocolate creme filled)

What you do:
Mix up the brownie mix according to directions on the package. Put oreos in a ziploc bag and smash them up. This part is fun. Pour oreos and marshmallows into the brownie mix and mix well.
Cook according to directions on brownie package.
Enjoy, obviously.

The marshmallows melted, I'm not sure if that's supposed to happen, but it was delicious. It made the brownies gooey and just even better. The oreos speak for themselves.

I think I'll go have another now.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Reasons Why He Makes Me Laugh

I'll try to make this as cheese-less as possible.
When I had "that conversation" with my dad during senior year of college about wanting to move in with Chris the following year, he must have known it was serious. 
He asked, "Does he make you laugh?" At the time, I thought that was an interesting question. Of course he makes me laugh. I didn't realize, though, how important that is.
Throughout three years of him in law school, me in grad school, starting our "working" lives together for the past two years, going through bouts of unemployment and hard times, he never ceases to make me laugh. Sometimes it involves an eye roll, but there's always laughter. Here are a few examples.

- I was yelling to Chris, who was in another room, about getting an awkward cat-call while in our parking lot earlier that day. He hardly says anything. A few minutes pass, he enters the room, and says with a completely stoic face, "It's okay, Alyssa. I get cat-calls too." Thanks for making me feel less alone. Or something.

- He likes to talk in a hick Southern accent while watching or talking about NASCAR. It's hilarious. If only I could make a secret video so y'all could see what I'm talking about.

- He likes to make the funniest/most awkward faces while driving and stare at other drivers until they laugh. Or sometimes, he waves like a crazy person. Hilarious.

I miiiight get killed for posting this.
- This. Not a teenage girl in the land can make a better duck face than my man.

again, I might be in trouble.
- He thought it would be a good idea to change everyone's bowling names when we went bowling with my brothers. I was literally crying I was laughing so hard.

I probably don't tell him this enough, but I really appreciate those moments of laughter. I tend to have a hard time relaxing after tough days (or weeks) and he always brings me back down to reality. Thanks for that, C.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday's Letters

Happy Friday! 
I'm switching it up and going letters style today. 

pretty flowers from Wegman's

Dear weather, thank you for being warm. I love.
Dear maintenance people, thank you for finally fixing our air conditioning. I love the warm weather but having no AC was getting a little....sweaty.
Dear work, slow down. or something. 
Dear vacation days, please get here soon. 1 month until I'm off my introductory 6-month probation and can finally use my days. I need it!
Dear ear infection, thank you for going away with the help of this insanely strong antibiotic. Dear antibiotic, you taste disgusting and make me feel nauseous..not only are you knocking out my infection, you've knocked out all my energy this week.
Dear Jergens Natural Glow moisturizer, thank you for helping me not be so pale. My ghostly legs thank you.
Dear Ghiradelli Salted Caramel filled Dark chocolate, I love you.
Dear weekend, thank you for arriving. Hope you have a great one!

Linking up with Ashley for Friday's Letters

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sparkling Wedding Punch

My lovely bloggy friend Steph just started a new link-up, "The Party Don't Start til I walk in", so I thought it would be the perfect time to share this drink recipe.

We all know it's wedding season so it's the perfect time to share the recipe for wedding punch! I made it for Chris' now-sister-in-law's bridal shower a couple years ago and I can literally taste it to this day. It's easy, delicious, and will definitely be a hit at your next bridal shower or party.  Think of it as grown-up jungle juice. Anyone?
these cupcakes have nothing to do with the punch, besides that I made them for the same bridal shower. I have no pictures of the punch but promise it's great!

2 cans frozen lemonade
1 can frozen pineapple concentrate (regular pineapple juice will work if you can't find this)
1 gallon cranberry juice (or any cran-combination)
2 liters ginger ale (or flavored ginger ale, like cranberry)
Several cups of ice
LOTS of fresh fruit that will absorb the juice (pineapple, berries, oranges, etc. Be creative!)
Clear rum, mix to taste depending on amount made (optional...we made two batches but you can guess which one was most popular)

Mix it all up, if you have time let sit for several hours to let the fruit absorb the juice (If you do this, wait to add the ginger ale so it doesn't get flat).


adapted from this recipe

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What Can I Say? I'm a Rule Breaker

Happy Wednesday! 
While looking through Facebook photos to delete so employers can't find them I discovered something about myself.
I like doing things I'm not supposed to do. Like...

Climbing in caves. It's like I'm asking for my arm having to be amputated.

Lighting fireworks on our city apartment's balcony. Because that's safe.

Jumping into 4 feet of snow and not quite knowing what you're landing on. Nevermind, that was just fun.

Dressing like this. What a G.
I wish I could show the rest of this photo, because my friend's face is priceless, but I'm not sure she'd want this floating around the interwebs. I'm not sure I do, either.

Dancing on tables. Pretty sure this picture's made it onto the bloggy before.

And lastly, climbing onto statues. This seems to be my favorite.

Was I really hiding my drink by holding my arm out that far?
Because justice = being able to climb on statues. Obviously. 

I'm clearly a rebel without a cause.
this whole post seemed a lot more badass in my head.

And that's it for this Random Wednesday with the lovely Shanna!

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Busiest of Weekends

As I sit here to type this on Sunday night at 8pm, I can hardly keep my eyes open. We had such a busy weekend and I'm exhausted! The weather was beautiful...a sunny, breezy, 70 degrees both days. Perfect.

Saturday was spent running some much needed errands. I went to the doctor again and then we went to a million car dealerships (ok, maybe I'm exaggerating). We're both in the market for new cars soon-ish so we wanted to start looking. A couple test drives later, I came *this* close to buying a new Mazda Cx5 but decided to think it over a little longer {the cars salesmen loved us for that}. Of course, ice cream was for dinner. It was well deserved!
Chris test driving a Challenger. My Saturday outfit. Soft serve with LOTS of sprinkles.
Sunday was a beautiful day spent in DC! We managed to find street parking and ended up walking 6 miles all around the memorials and to lunch at District of Pi {AMAZING pizza and beer}

FDR Memorial

FDR Memorial

MLK Memorial

One of my favorite quotes by MLK

How lucky are we that DC is right in our backyard? I've lived in the DC area for 22 years of my life and I'm in awe every single time I'm down there. I just love it. It's beautiful on the gloomiest days and has this amazing, powerful energy. In our dream world, Chris will get a fancy lawyer job and we'll buy a multimillion dollar row-home in Georgetown. In the meantime, we're looking forward to getting a bike rack and hitting some trails around there this Spring/summer and only wishing it's where we lived.

How was your weekend?
Linking up with Sami!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Heat Wave and my Fight with a Bird

Happy Friday!
We got a heat wave over here. Thankfully the weather's cooling off for the weekend because our air conditioning unit isn't working and will hopefully be fixed tomorrow. Here are a few highlights from the week...
1. homemade banana bread! some with chocolate chips. I made it for work and I'll pretend I didn't eat two {large} pieces already
2. heat wave. 94 degrees in April!
3. sparkly new sandals and pretty pedicure (ok I think feet pictures are gross, but I really wanted to show off these sandals! nasty carpet, courtesy of my office)
4. fresh pineapple! after I figured out exactly how to cut a pineapple, I've been inhaling this stuff for the past two days. there's nothing better.
5. started on the balcony garden! look at that cute little Alyssum grow kit I found at Target ($3). Obviously, I had to buy it given my name. Also, our "garden" is currently inside because yesterday I had a fight with a bird trying to terrorize our flowers. The stupid bird was actually going after the basil, too (Chris wondered if he's looking to make a pizza?). He pulled off a couple of the flowers and tore up the gorgeous red dahlia in that picture. I shooed the bird off the balcony, removed the plants, and he actually came back 2 minutes later and starting making this terrible angry sounding noise because I moved the plans. So in the meantime I'm trying to keep our plants away from the devil bird. Does anyone have any tips to keep birds away....besides screening in our balcony which is impossible?!

What are you doing this weekend?
Linking up with Lauren

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

It's Wednesday Already?

Oh, thank heavens for Wednesday. Because it's about to get random up in here.

~Who else watched "Ready for Love"? Ever since seeing Eva Longoria on the Today Show months ago, I was looking forward to this show. This is such a different dating show, which I find so refreshing. I think matchmaking is so cool, and it probably should have been my profession. Human behavior is so interesting to me (duh, check my career choice). So, I'm looking forward to watching this show and following along. It also makes me want to listen to the Plain White T's. Thoughts? Opinions?

This just seemed appropriate, somehow. It's love. Circa 2007?
~Speaking of love, I had the most completely random craving today: deviled eggs. I was at work, obviously unable to get my hands on any deviled eggs for hours, but texted Chris during a break. I couldn't emphasize more how much I needed deviled eggs. I planned to go home and make them immediately. Well, I walked into the house and smelled eggs and just knew he did it- yep, best boyfriend ever. Brownie points earned. We then got pizza and my diet was totally shot. Nevermind, I'm not on a diet.
(Oh, and I get random cravings all the time. I am not pregnant. I knew that question would be asked, or some random friend/family member would happen upon this post)

~I unsubscribed from about 80% of the store emails I receive. I have hundreds of unread emails in my inbox from stores that I never open, so decided to confront this issue head on. I used to keep myself on the mailing lists because I was so afraid of missing a deal. Until I realized there are hardly any exclusively emailed deals. If I'm going to go shopping, I'll look up a deal on my own. Keeps my shopping urges down and keeps my bank account happy.

~I have to vent, here. I went to the doctor at the end of March for an ear infection. I was prescribed antibiotics, which didn't work, at all. I am in a health insurance lapse starting in April, and until I'm covered by my new insurance, I'm uncovered. So I went back to the same place who "treated" my ear infection. There's nothing else they could do unless I wanted to pay $200 for some drops that "might or might not work". I was informed that I most likely had a sinus infection which never went away, plus a perforated ear drum, but that I needed to see a specialist to run tests. Unable to shell out $200 for something that might not work, and no health insurance to cover a specialist visit, I have to wait. And wait. And be in pain. Plus, I have no sick days at work. My job is listening and talking to people all day. Needless to say, I haven't been a happy camper. I'm a pretty tough girl but I'm getting so tired and worn out from this ordeal. That being said, hopefully my new insurance will be in place and I can go see a specialist to get it taken care of. Looking on the bright side, at least I have health insurance available which is more than a lot of people have. I'm grateful. Frustrated, but grateful. (Done venting.)

~I started my balcony garden yesterday! It's definitely not done, but pictures to come soon. It'll be small this year because we're probably moving in the next couple months and don't want to tote around a bunch of plans, but it's exciting.

beginning the "garden"!
I hope everyone has a fabulous Wednesday. Linking up with the lovely Shanna!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

DIY Sparkling Shower Cleaner

This "recipe" for homemade shower cleaner is so simple, you'll kick yourself for never thinking of this before. At least, that's what I did. I can confidently say I'll never use anything else to clean my shower/bathtub/sinks. 

White vinegar
Liquid dish soap (I used Palmolive but cheap store-brand would probably work just fine)

Heat about 8 oz vinegar, pour into spray bottle. Squirt in a few tablespoons of dish soap, gently shake. I shook a little too much which resulted in lots of bubbles. No harm done!
Spray onto shower, wipe off. It's that simple. 

I'm embarrassed to say our shower was pretty gross before I cleaned it. I didn't have to scrub at all and just wiped with a sponge rinsed in warm water. This stuff works. I estimate the amount I made cost about 25 cents (I made about half a bottle). Hint: buy vinegar at Costco. It costs $3 and you get a bottle like this:

Ridiculously big bottle of vinegar... because we really needed it. Since buying this massive bottle, I've been researching ways to use vinegar around the house. I'm normally that person who buys the specialty cleaners because they just must work better. I've been trying to save money and use less chemicals so I figured "splurging" on the biggest bottle of vinegar I've ever seen would be worth it. So far, it is because I'd spend about $3 on shower cleaner alone and I still have an almost-full bottle of vinegar. Win win.

Ok, now go clean your shower. It's never been easier. You're welcome.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Never Have I Ever...

When Nadine posted about this link-up, it sounded like too much fun. I remember playing "never have I ever" in high school/college and even at sleepovers in middle school. It's kind of like "truth or dare" without the "dare". 

Never Have I Ever

Never have I ever...

Been stung by a bee. Thankfully or else I'd freak the heck out.

Gone on a cruise. Probably never will, those things scare me! And I get sea sick.

Changed my hair color dramatically. I've added highlights and low lights but always kept my natural color.

Had the nerve to take outfit pictures outside. I feel so silly!

Been ziplining. I WANT TO SO BAD!!!

Gone to a music festival. I've been to plenty of concerts but no Sunday in the Country or anything like that. Am I too old now? 

Been to Vegas. I know!!!

Liked wearing heels. I just don't. I've come to accept I'm a "fancy jeans and t-shirt" kind of girl.

Been arrested. Thankfully ;)

Liked working out. Every form of exercise is like torture for me. I eat healthy or else I'd really be screwed.

Ridden in a helicopter. I think I'd be way too scared!

Been able to do a sock bun. Why is it SO hard?

So what about you? Have you ever?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spring Cleaning & Outfits Lately

Happy Wednesday!
It was so nice to have off work on Monday. I was able to get a lot of things done, which equates to relaxing for me. I went through all of my clothes and separated into "keep, trash, donate" piles. It felt so good. I can't believe the amount of clothes/shoes I have that I haven't worn in over a year. 

Why do I own so many soffee shorts? I debated whether to get rid of them but I wear them to sleep and couldn't part with em. And yes, they were already organized by color before taking this picture. I'm crazy like that.
T-shirt from college days. I also couldn't get rid of my SU t-shirts! 
Chris and I also made a decision which takes a huge weight off my (our) shoulders. We're going to stay put in our apartment for now instead of moving later this month. The details aren't official but our landlords are pretty easy to work with. We like our apartment but need more space...however I don't want to rush into moving when we aren't quite ready. I'm so relieved because we don't have to worry about the stress of moving. I'm also able to take more time to organize and get rid of things we don't need like I did this week. I'm looking forward to planting our balcony garden again this weekend now that we know we're staying a little longer. 

The moral of the story is that it feels great to do some "spring cleaning" of our apartment because it feels like I gave my brain a cleaning as well. I feel a million times lighter and less anxious overall. There's something nice about feeling stability. Now that I don't have to worry about moving, I can focus on studying for my licensing exam and maybe even putting some time into this blog, which I've seriously been lacking lately. 

Since I haven't been sharing much, here are a few of my favorite outfits recently...

Scarf: Kohl's, Shirt: Gap, Jeans: LC Lauren Conrad (Kohl's), Boots: DSW
Sweater: NY&Co, Shirt: Express, Jeans: Old Navy, Boots: DSW 
Shirt: Loft outlet, Scarf: Gap, Sweater: Target
I think it's pretty clear that I love wearing my boots and will wear them until it gets so warm I can't anymore. I am definitely looking forward to sandal weather, though...just need to find time to get a pedicure first! 

Linking up with Shanna :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Weekend Recap!

I can actually say "Happy Monday" and mean it, because for me it's still the weekend! I have a pretty big to-do list today, because the sooner I get things done the sooner I can glue my eyes to my DVR and just be lazy and enjoy the day off. Sounds like heaven to me. 

This weekend was pretty low-key, I'm still feeling a little under the weather. We had a fun little Friday night with take-out sushi and Jeopardy...and suddenly I feel old. We also got taxes done and some other un-fun things which just confirms how old I feel. I know you're dying to see pictures, but there are none. Sorry.

We spent some time with Chris' family for Easter and stopped at Brighton Dam on the way back. The weather's finally getting a little warmer and was a gorgeous day in Maryland.

Of course, Chris and I failed to get any real pictures together, per usual with any holiday.

1. Colored Deviled Eggs!
2. Our Easter "basket" from Chris mom- I'm obsessed with these containers and love getting them every year! 
3. That's my egg. Can you tell?
4. We're weird. He might kill me for posting this.
5. Pretty flowers
6. Some of the dyed eggs. Chris and his brother made Nascar eggs. Yep.

Now I'm off to tackle my to-do list- I hope everyone had a great weekend! 
Linking up with Sami and Leeann!


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