Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Ahead

2011 has been quite the year. Lots of smiles. Lots of tears. Reflecting, I can say for certain that God has been faithful. I can't say that I have all of the answers for 2012. I can't say that there won't be bumps in the road - in fact, I'm more certain than ever that there WILL be. However, I am expecting a lot from 2012. 

I don't do resolutions, but I AM declaring some areas of focus for 2012.

Bible Study: I am getting involved with a group of ladies at our new church in January and my sis-in-law and I are going to do Beth Moore's study of James. I want to stay in the word and have focus. I am not one to just read through the Bible (although I have done that)...I need something to make me think about it. I also get the Girlfriends in God devotional daily (which I really like!)

Job: I am praying about what God would have me do. I want to work and we could use the extra money, but I honestly don't know where to begin. So, I'm praying for direction and open doors. I am certain that He has a plan that will unfold at the perfect time.

Exercise: For reasons that I will reveal in the coming days, I need to move my rear. I have found a ZUMBA class close to our house, so I am going to try to plug in there 2 or 3 times a week.

Encouragement: I want to spend more time writing letters, emails, blog posts - things that will lift others up. Life has a way of dragging you down some days and I want to really focus on uplifting people in my life.

Happy New Year. May your 2012 be blessed and prosperous!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I'll Be Home For Christmas (and the week after)

If you are expecting pictures - move on. We all know I own a camera, but just so it can sit in my bag and look pretty. Hello!

So, last week Precious worked 4-10 hour days so that we could leave on Friday morning and head to Illinois. It takes all day to drive. All. Day. Precious can't seem to decide if he wants me to sleep while he drives (because sometimes he wants to talk - or wants directions - difference? nope.) or be awake. However, if I am awake there are things I must do:
-not talk...unless he needs directions (not gonna happen. he says I'm like a 5 year old in the car and he's totally right. I talk to stay awake and because I'm bored!)
-stop talking (hmm...still not happening!)

Well, that's pretty much the entire list. And I admit it's bad. I try to read a little - listen to my ipod (book on CD) - Sudoku, but it's 9 hours. N.I.N.E. HOURS. I am pretty sure I suffer from ADD!

However, we made it safe and sound. We went to have chili with his parents and met a new addition to the family - Dotty, their new puppy. She's something and she HATES the lil brother (who just got engaged - Hooray! Congrats to you and Nutmeg). Too funny!

Christmas Eve - got to spend time with some of my family, went on a little shopping trip with my mom, and spent the evening with Precious' family. A house full of people is anything but dull. 4 little boys with new Lego sets, a game of Dirty Santa, lots of food and a few good rounds of Dutch Blitz made for a super fun night.

Christmas Day was a whirlwind. Early morning with the in-laws (and a dirty trick played by mom-in-law on pop-in-law - it was CLASSIC and she deserves and Oscar for her performance!), lunch with my parents, a visit with one of my favorite kids, and back to be with Precious' family.

Are you sensing a theme? We've been able to spend times with lots of people and it's been so great!

Monday: shopping, lunch with friends, Precious' new iPhone up and running, dinner at a local pizza joint.

Tuesday: Sleep. Hooray! Errands with my momma. Dinner with some of my former students (WHAT A BLAST! Miss you guys!).

Today? Breakfast at my favorite local eatery (Lynda's - DUH!). Time with mom and dad in Cape. Lunch with Precious. We came home and took down Christmas deco outside and the whole time I kept thinking of Taylor at The Lumberjack's Wife. She has a child who thinks she hates Christmas because she took down the decorations.

It's been busy few days, but SO WONDERFUL! I am so thankful for the time we have had and can't wait for the next few days! (except for this dumb weather! REALLY? 55 degrees at the end of December? What have we done to deserve this?)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Phoodos - For Casey

Pasta Carbonara
My friend Casey is a fabulous chef and has given us some fabulous recipes on her blog. This is my shout out to her. She posted a recipe for Pasta Carbonara and while mine is a little different, she was TOTALLY the inspiration for my experimentation with this dish.

Her recipe can be found here.

Here is mine (Lord help us - I threw a bunch of stuff in a pot that I wanted to get rid of before we leave for Christmas in Illinois.)

I used Bacon - LOTS OF YUMMY BACON - actually it was 6 slices of thick cut (and I baked it in the oven - 400 degrees until its crispy - because I vowed to never EVER fry bacon again!).

I used Penne pasta (cause that's how I wanted to roll that night and that's what was in the pantry). I boiled it and threw in some frozen peas during the last few minutes of boiling.

Sauce (my burner was on 6 or 7):
-melted 1/2 stick of butter in a skillet
-sauteed a container of sliced mushrooms and some garlic (don't ask me how much 'cause I just threw some in - add as much or a little as you want)
-added 1/2 onion, chopped, to skillet
-added about 1 1/2 cups of diced chicken (it was about half a package of the frozen diced chicken from Tyson)
-salt and pepper
-I added 1/2 package of cream cheese and let it begin to melt
-added a small container of half and half (oh, it's REAL healthy)
-added shredded parmesan (about 3/4 of a container from the store - I'm too lazy to grate it myself)
-add bacon, crumbled

Mix sauce with pasta/peas. Voila!

Veggie Lasagna
I also made Veggie Lasagna (last week - I'm late posting it). If you're interested, you can find the recipe here. We shared it with a couple from church - I have found it impossible to make a small amount of lasagna and soup/chili.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Stole This:

I totally ganked this from someone on Facebook, but isn't it hilarious?

I come home to....

I left last Tuesday to drive to Illinois. I spent several days there with my parents. I'm going to be very vague here simply to protect privacy, but it wasn't the sort of trip people look forward to. However, I am so grateful that I was able to spend 5 days there. I'm not currently working (which is driving me nuts), so it wasn't a huge deal to take off and go.

Can I just go on a little rant for a minute? I understand that God has purposes in everything, but sheesh some things are just almost unbearable. I really want to be the one who doesn't ask "Why?". I would rather be the one who says, "Ok, what now?" But days like today just leave me feeling more like screaming my head off. I just want to skip the questions and go straight to the fit pitching.

But just as I am mid kicking and screaming like a kid in the cereal aisle who didn't get the box she wanted, God reminds me of my many blessings. Today, they revolved around my family and my husband - my husband who had done all of the laundry, cleaned the kitchen, made the bed and bought me flowers which were on the table in vase when I got home from Illinois (that and some chart on the fridge about why the heat in our apartment rarely kicks on - too much time on his hands). I am very blessed.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Beef with Broccoli

So, I love Pintrest. In fact, I may be slightly addicted. However, it does produce good things...just ask Precious. He enjoyed some delicious Beef with Broccoli all because of Pintrest! Here is what ours looked like. YUM, right? (Note: I omitted the Sherry - I didn't have any!)

All plated up like Food Network. (RIGHT!) 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Updates from Ohio

I have several things that I haven't shown you mostly because it's really just a few things because I'm pityful and can't remember to take stupid pictures. I didn't take one single picture at Thanksgiving. Bad Blogger. Bad Scrapbooker! Grrrr.

So we opened 2 more envelopes. Keep up people - it was a wedding present. A really awesome wedding present.

This was envelope #2 stop in Canton, OH.

This was envelope #3 stop in Fairlawn, OH.
and my "treats"

Yesterday I made cupcakes with butter cream icing - SO YUMMY!

For dinner I made Maple Glazed Salmon and Green Bean & Roasted Potatoes in a chive and butter sauce:

I'll try to do better. Not making promises, but I am going to try. Except tonight...I made Parmesan Chicken and was too lazy and hungry to get my camera out before dinner.

2 on Tuesday - Christmas Traditions

2 on Tuesday

I am joining Andrea over at My Chihuahua Bites! for 2 on Tuesday. Click on the link above to link up. This week's question is:

What are your Christmas traditions?

I am hoping to begin some new traditions this year. This is our first Christmas being married - our first Christmas living away and going back home for the holidays, so I don't know what's in store.

When I was growing up my grandma always baked cookies - LOTS.OF.COOKIES. She would bake 15 different kinds of cookies (not kidding - it was a lot!) and she would bake DOZENS of each. She would give them to EVERYONE!  Everyone in my family got their own container of cookies for their house. She would give cookies to people at church (people at the grocery store, the doctor's office - ok that's not completely true, but she LOVED to baked and she LOVED to share). Every after all of that giving away, we would still have some at her house on Christmas. 

At my house, we would always see what Santa brought us in the mornings, then go to Granny and Papa's for lunch and more presents. My aunts, uncles, and cousins. Fun times and GREAT food!

I am not sure what new traditions we'll start. I'm just super excited about spending time with friends and family. Thanksgiving was great, but we get to stay for a little longer at Christmas.

What are your Christmas traditions?

Shopping List

Since I have been married I am trying like crazy to streamline the things that seem to take FOREVER! Grocery shopping was on that list. This is the shopping list I came up with so that everything is organized by sections. I have been using this to make my shopping lists and it saves me so much time at the store.

If you think it would help you, feel free to save and print a Shopping List for yourself.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sacs of Life

I follow on a daily basis. Woot has ONE deal each day. (They also have,,, and in case you are interested.) This was the deal last Saturday. I got mine in the mail today. I SO wish I would've told you about the deal THAT day! These shopping bags are AWESOME!

I bought the Bella pattern. The brown bags fold up and fit into the front pocket of the insulated tote and the insulated tote folds flat and had a stretchy band that keeps it flat.


I have searched so that I could give you a place to look in case you're interested. Bed, Bath & Beyond have 2 of the patterns in the Sacs of Life Insulator 4 bag (3 brown bags plus the insulator bag) and on the Sacs of Life site you can purchase the Sacs of Life Insulator 3 bag (2 brown bags plus the insulator bag).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - November 16, 2011

1. What song reminds you of a specific time in your life and what is it about that song that makes you remember?
Oh geez…I’m ashamed to admit this. 2Pac’s “Keep Ya Head Up”. TLC’s “Creep”.  SWV’s “Weak”. Jodeci’s  “Come and Talk to Me”. Shai’s “If I Ever Fall in Love”. Laugh it up. I wasn’t known as ghetto for nothing. These were all songs that I listened to in high school.

2. What's something you've given up on?
Figuring everything out – unpacking all of the boxes (we’re just gonna rent a storage unit or toss it out the window or over the banister on the deck) 

3. What's something you'll never give up on?
Actually selling the stuff in the totes which are currently in our guest bath tub. No, I’m NOT posting a picture! It’s pitiful. But that is the only place I had to put my “sell pile”. Anyone want to give PartyLite pieces for Christmas? I’ll see it REAL cheap!

4. If you had to cook something from scratch in the next hour what would it be?
Either Beef Stroganoff, Maple Glazed Salmon, or Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole because that’s what I bought ingredients for at the grocery store that I have left on this week’s meal plan.

5. Have you started Christmas shopping? Decorating? Listening to Christmas music?
No. No. Only when I’m at the mall – which insists on playing it non-stop (since the day after Halloween!) Thanksgiving – it can start after Thanksgiving.

6. What do you know about your parent's wedding?
Not a lot. It happened. There are pictures to prove it. My mom made her dress. Yep…that’s pretty much all I know.

7. I can't believe I ___________________.
…”I can fly!” HA! Couldn’t resist! I believe I can do all things through Christ. I believe that God equips people that He calls. I believe that God heals.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
This was on my sis-in-law’s wish list – isn’t it beautiful. I hope she gets it and lets me borrow it!

Monday, November 14, 2011

2 on Tuesday

2 on Tuesday

It's Tuesday! That means it's time for 2 on Tuesday over at My Chihuahua Bites! If you're stopping by, welcome. If you're interested in linking up, click on the logo above.

This week's question:

What are your pet peeves?

1. Automated answering services are SUPER annoying! When I call Customer Service I typically would like to speak to a human being. You?

Have you ever called and tried pressing "0", saying "Operator", "Agent", "Representative" and about 15 other things in hopes of talking to a REAL person? Why must we have automated Customer Service? I want real people!

2. This is a new one: It seems that Summit County drivers are taught that when turning left at a light, you should wait in the MIDDLE of the intersection until the light turns red and after all of the other people coming toward you run the red light, it's finally YOUR turn - obviously - because where else would you go since you're in the MIDDLE of the intersection already.

I kid you not - I have actually seen people BACK UP so they didn't get hit after their plan was foiled!

Happy Tuesday! Hope you're week is off to a great start!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My New Favorite Places

The Root Cafe
The Root Cafe is located on Bath Road in Cuyahoga Falls and is my favorite cafe in Northeast Ohio.

The Rail is located in Fairlawn and has delicious food!

Fairlawn School of Music - Quality education. Convenient location.
The Fairlawn School of Music is a great place and I am excited about joining their staff!

Blake's Cafe & Cupcakery
Blake's Cafe & Cupcakery - BEST CUPCAKES EVER!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sheena Talks...about Integrity

This is my apology. I am not apologizing because I care what most of you think about me or my blog (that you have probably never read until this post). And I am not apologizing because I feel like there was anything untruthful in the post. I am apologizing because it is my act of obedience to God and because I DO still actually care about people’s spiritual well-being – the same well-being this post seemed to be hindering. It was not my intention to hinder anyone’s walk, so I am removing the story from this post.


When you are responsible for the well-being of others (and we are as Christians), choices you make do indeed affect others. When our beliefs, our words, our actions do not line up...people notice! It's called integrity - or a lack of (depending on if yours are lining up or not).

Proverbs 11:3 says, "The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity." Integrity it vital in the Christian walk. Things can look so good on the outside but our public lives are only as authentic as our private lives. Integrity is when what you say, what you do, what you think and what you believe all line up.

Billy Graham said, "Integrity is the glue that holds our way of life together. We must constantly strive to keep our integrity intact. When wealth is lost, nothing is lost. When health is lost, something is lost. When character is lost, all is lost." Oh. How. True. Character matters. Integrity matters. Without integrity, ministering to others is impossible.

Note: Girlfriends in God can spur a lot of thoughts. If you're looking for a daily devotional check it out at

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - November 9, 2011

If you're stopping by from Joyce's Wednesday Hodgepodge, welcome. If you want to link up or read other's entries, click on the logo above.

1. Of all the tools and gadgets you own which do you most enjoy using? 
I really enjoy my Nook Color and my smart phone. I most certainly use my smart phone more. Ok, so i should rewind - I love my smart phone NOW. I have an HTC Droid Incredible 2. I did NOT, however, enjoy my previous smart phone - looking at you stupid Motorola Devour - it wasn't very smart!

2. When (if ever) is impatience a virtue?
Ok, so I am going to tell you this, but you can't tell anyone that I said it. Deal? Coming from a girl who did NOT receive the gift of patience, I have begun to cultivate the smidgen that I did have. I honestly cannot think of any instance where impatience has served me well. Sssshhhhhh! Don't tell anyone I said that - you'll ruin my reputation! 

3. What temperature do you keep your thermostat set to in winter? Do you have another way to heat your house besides a furnace of some type?
 Right now it's at 60 something (Precious set it and I don't care to be chilly - especially when I sleep) and that's probably where it will stay. No other source of heat here.

4. Do/did you have a close relationship with any of your grandparents?
 My grandparents have all passed away, but yes, I was super close to my maternal grandparents. I wish so much that I would've thought when I was younger to ask more questions - pay closer attention. Hindsight is 20/20, eh?

5. When did you last have a family portrait taken?
 HA! So, I'm 33 and we just had a family portrait made before Precious and I married in October.

6. What does the word patriotism mean to you?
 Devotion and loyalty to your country - my grandfather was a WWII veteran and he LOVED this country and everything that it stood for. He didn't always agree with everything, but he was PROUD to be an American.

I think that we sometimes take this country for granted. Even as bad as some things ARE, we still have it so much better than the majority of the people who reside on Earth.

I think patriotism is simply being PROUD to be an American and acting like it.

7. Do you like to play cards and if so, what's your favorite card game?
 Not a huge card player. I did play a card game called Jokers and Pegs the other night and it was fun! Anyone else ever played? I had never heard of it until that night.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
 Things that suck about moving to a new city and state - finding a place to have your hair and your nails done! My nails look AWFUL! What's a girl to do?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

2 on Tuesday!

2 on Tuesday

If you are joining me from My Chihuahua Bites! - Welcome! If you want to join us - click on the logo above.

This week's question:

What's on your Christmas wish list? What do you hope to receive from Santa?

I have just started compiling my wish list (because my mom said I HAD to and regardless of how old I am, if momma speaks, you listen. If she demands a wish list, you make one!)

I really want a Silhouette CAMEO - this new vinyl cutting machine, however it's a bit impractical.

So, here are a a few slightly more realistic items:

Clarisonic Classic in Graphite Gray. Ok, so this isn't practical either, but I DO want one!
  Clarisonic Classic available in Graphite Gray, Pink and White

The North Face ETip Gloves - they are touchscreen compatible. YAY!
I also want this little guy to root my NOOK color - it lets you run Android which means I can get Amazon books on my Nook. Holla!
N2A - 8GB microSD Card

I can't wait to see what's on your lists...perhaps it will help me expand mine.

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Chocolate-Cherry Scones

Tonight, I made scones. They look so delicious that I thought I would share the recipe in case you want to try it. It was much easier than I thought it would be!

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup whipping cream, divided
  • Wax Paper

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Stir together the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender until crumbly and mixture resembles small peas. Freeze 5 minutes. Add 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. cream, cherries, and chocolate - stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. 

2. Turn dough out onto wax paper; gently press of pat dough into a 7-inch round (mixture will be crumbly). Cut round into 8 wedges. Place wedges 2 inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet (or line your baking sheet with a silicone baking mat). Brush tops of wedges with remaining cream just until moistened.

3. Bake at 450 degrees for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe from Southern Living - December 2010

Sunday, October 30, 2011

An Adventure and An Office Supply Problem

Saturday, we didn't really have any plans, so we opened an envelope. WHAT? An envelope. Yes. Those things that you lick and seal and sometimes send in the mail. Ok, since you're really confused, let me explain...

For a wedding present we received a gift from the Best Man and his wife that contained colored envelopes. The directions said to open an envelope when were were lacking something to do and to follow the directions. And they gave us a Visa gift card to pay for our adventures. Saturday we opened the YELLOW envelope. It told us to go to Nervous Dog Coffee Bar. Umm. Coffee? Yes. I think so.

Here's proof that we did as instructed:

While we were on our adventure, we saw THIS. I know. It's SO awesome. I want one! I'm not sure what I would do with it, but isn't it fun?!!?

And then we came home and made dinner - spaghetti and salad. Yes, it was yummy. I don't fix un-yummy food.

Office Supplies! Office Supplies!

Now for the office supply portion of this post...this past week on Facebook, we had a discussion about office supply hoarding issues. I promised a blog post in hopes that my admitting my problem will be the first step in the "healing process" of this addiction. In the meantime, if you need office supplies, I'm your girl!

I had to move stuff around in the note pad drawer just so you could see everything.

Yep, it's a problem - but it doesn't stop with note pads and post-its. Here's the writing utensil drawer:

And the Sharpies (which go in the writing utensils drawer):

Let's see. What else? Oh yea, CDs and cases (which I use for lessons, so don't judge this drawer - it's a tax write off).

And the binder clips, paper clips, rubber bands, push pins, etc.

Anyone else have this problem? Tara. Kate. Anyone? :-)

Happy weekend - back to unpacking tomorrow for me. What are you doing this week?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Where you find out that I DON'T have it together!

For those of you who think that I have myself together and prefer to keep believing that - stop reading...or look at the first set of pictures and THEN stop reading. It's really in your best interest if you don't want your view of organized me shattered into itty bitty pieces.

Here's the kitchen (well, one side of it - if I showed you the other side, you could see the massive boxes in our living room and I'm not going to do that to you, but use your imagination...there is a dishwasher, sink, and a counter space with a coffee pot - which you will see in a minute. I figured out how to take a picture of it without showing you the mess!):

I ended up purchasing the 14-piece Rachael Ray set because it was on sale and cheaper than any of the 10 piece sets. I LOVE this set. 

Silverware drawer - I've already discovered that I need more spoons. Anyone else use WAY too many spoons?

The dishes all fit nicely into one cabinet since I added the Real Simple shelf. I like it because it's solid - many were wire and the cups wouldn't sit on there straight.

I have tried uploading this picture 2 times and it keeps rotating it, so turn your computer sideways!

Pan racks. Love. Them. And yes, those ARE waffle plates for our Cuisinart Griddler!

Our hodgepodge of glasses!

Ok, so let's talk about this cluttered mess and why it's ok...spice rack is from Pampered Chef. It spins and I found bottles at BB&B that fit, so I can buy my own spices in bulk at The Mustard Seed or EarthFare (Think Neighborhood Co-op). Check out the top rack.

Utensils. Middle bucket is metal untensils - don't use on the pans! Right side is plastic. Left side is silicone. 

Behold - COFFEE!

Bowl organization - love things that nest.

And my apron storage:

Master Bathroom:

Master Bedroom:

My new make-up table! So exciting!

Remember this?

Ok folks, that's all for now...well, that's all if you want to keep believing that I have my crap together.

This is your final warning. The next set of pictures are NOT pretty!

It's mostly for my new friend, Hannah. She and her new husband married the same day that we did. These are so that she knows she isn't alone in this newlywed, stay home and unpack garbage.

However, I DID make progress today. I'll post more pics this coming week.

This is the hallway - just enough room to walk. We have to shut the bedroom door so that I can't see it or I wouldn't be able to sleep.

This week I've learned that my husband is a bit of a paper hoarder. I have an office supply, clothes, shoe, and purse problem, but let's focus on him, shall we? This was in the middle of my trying to sort through the MASSIVE amounts of paper. I shredded so much last night that the paper shredder was finally like, "umm, yea, so I'm gonna stop working now because I am exhausted - try me again tomorrow!"

Oh, the disgrace!

This is the spare bedroom - the spare bathroom is equally bad. Ok, it's worse! So bad I refuse to even take a picture of it! 

For those of you who didn't heed the warning - DON'T BLAME ME!

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