Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Oreo Yumminess

Last weekend when my parents and brother came to visit, I tried a new dessert and it was delicious! It was nothing too special and very easy to make, but it tasted wonderful!! 

Since I forgot to take a picture, this is courtesy of House 344

I got the recipe from House 344 and here it is if you want to try it out yourself sometime soon:

Oreo Layer Dessert

1 pkg of regular Oreos (I ended up using about 1 1/2 packages)
1/2 c. of butter
1 lg box of instant chocolate pudding
2-8 oz cool whips
8 oz. of cream cheese, softened
1 c. powdered sugar

Crush the whole package of cookies either with a food processor, or in a bag and a rolling pin.  Save a 1/2 c. to sprinkle on top of dessert when it's done.  Pour remaining crumbs in a 13x9 pan.  Melt butter and pour into crumb mix.  Stir it up good and press crumbs in bottom of pan to make a crust.  Make chocolate pudding according to package directions and let it setup in the fridge.  In a mixing bowl blend cream cheese until nice and smooth and then add powdered sugar, mix.  Then fold in 1-8 oz thing of cool whip.  Top oreo layer with cream cheese mix, then pudding, then your last 8 oz thing of cool whip, and then sprinkle remaining Oreo's on top.  Cover and refridgerate until ready to serve. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend Shenanigans

This weekend was a good one, so go ahead and keep scrolling to read about it!

Friday night my parents and brother came to visit and for supper! We went for a walk since it was so nice outside, got pizza from the pizza place in town and played a couple games of Yahtzee.

On Saturday morning, I went to watch my little cousins play soccer. It was pretty entertaining to watch all of them run back and forth trying to make some goals!

Saturday night was the highlight of the weekend...I went with some friends to the Jake Owen and Jason  Aldean concert!
1, 2, & 3. Jake Owen performing
4 & 6. Jason Aldean performing
5. Drinks downtown before the concert with my girls, getting our pregame on!
7 & 8. More of Jake and Jason.
9. My seat buddy for the concert, we had fun!

Sunday we spent relaxing and laying around most of the day, which was nice! I went and played volleyball Sunday night and came home to a delicious grilled steak supper thanks to my hubby!

Linking up with the lovely Sami!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

Toby's Tails

Here is what's on my mind today...

We are finally getting some warmer weather and I am super excited! The month of April has not been very Springy. We have gotten rain, snow, sleet, and many days of cold temperatures. I am soooo ready for nice weather! Here's what I'm most looking forward to with the more pleasant weather:

~ Exercising outside...walks, jogs and bike rides

~ Being able to grill

~ Sitting out on the patio

~ Laying by the pool (we don't have one, but I'll find one close by)

~ Shorts and flip flops...my feet are sick and tired of being suffocated by socks

~ Sunshine!! It just makes me happier when the sun is shining!

What's your favorite thing about summer?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Vacation Ideas

Even though our weather is still in winter mode, my mind is in summer mode, which means, vacation!! Ryan and I are thinking about going on a trip somewhere to get away for a long weekend, but aren't sure where to go. Here are a few places we have thought about...

* Houston
 - we've never been there
 - my cousin and her husband live there, so it would be fun to visit

* California
 - I was there about 5 years ago in the Anaheim area and really enjoyed it
 - Ryan was there for a football bowl game for a couple days

* Chicago
 - I've heard lots of good things about visiting here, lots of things to do
 - It's within driving distance from us

Besides that, we haven't really looked into much, so we are open to any suggestions or recommendations! Anybody really like somewhere they have been recently on a vacation or trip?

Helene in Between

Monday, April 22, 2013

Weekend Shenanigans

Well, this weekend didn't quite go as planned, so I have very few pictures and not much to tell about, so sorry if it isn't a very great weekend update.

I was happy to see the sun this weekend, after a very gloomy week! I snapped this shot on Friday morning, so pretty!

We went home for the weekend to visit our families and were supposed to go to a friend's wedding on Saturday, but plans changed...

Friday night was good. We hung out with Ryan's sister, brother-in-law and nephew and had a couple drinks. 

Then late Friday night and Saturday came. Ryan got sick and I had to take him to the Emergency Room early Saturday morning.

A few lab tests and scans after we got there, we found out he had appendicitis and needed his appendix out. Therefore, we spent the rest of the day in the hospital. Ryan had surgery about 2 pm and got to go home later that night around 9. Thankfully, God watched over him and surgery went well!

Right before they took him to surgery.

Sunday morning, I also went on my longest training run before the half marathon. I did 11 miles and thankfully my mom rode the bike alongside me for 6.5 of those, since I missed running with my buddies Saturday morning. I think I'm ready for the race in 2 weeks!

We spent the rest of Sunday relaxing, which was nice. Ryan is feeling pretty good, just tired and sore after surgery, which is expected. 

Hope you all had a good weekend!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thursday Thoughts...FOCUS

Linking up again for Thursday Thoughts, this week with Jaime, Meredith and Dani!

Toby's Tails

Earlier this week, I got the opportunity to attend mass and a prayer breakfast, put on by FOCUS, which is the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. I was active in FOCUS when I was in college and it was such a great organization to be part of to help me learn more about my faith and grow in my faith also. While in FOCUS, I took part in mass, bible studies and other activities. 

This prayer breakfast was held to talk about the New Evangelization and how we can all spread the good news of the Lord in our lives. We had some wonderful speakers at the breakfast, including our Archbishop, a couple of priests, a current FOCUS missionary, the leader of a Catholic bible study, and the wife of the founder of FOCUS. It was so awesome to hear all of them speak about their own experiences and their encouragement for those of us attending! 

From the breakfast, I learned and was reminded that I need to spend more time in prayer and reading scripture every day in order to learn more and be able to share about my faith!

I'm so glad I got to attend and am so thankful for everyone in FOCUS and all that they do, it is a wonderful organization! They are now active on 74 campuses across the country!!

Are any of you familiar with FOCUS? If you interested in learning more about them and to see what campuses they are involved at, check out their websites here: http://www.focus.org and http://focusequip.org. The websites also have a lot of great resources to learn more about the Lord, Scripture and your faith!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Recipe + Giveaway

I've been meaning to share a new recipe with all of you from last week that I tried from Pinterest!

Buffalo Chicken Ring
(click above for original website)

All you need are:
crescent rolls
canned chicken or any kind of diced/shredded chicken
cream cheese
Frank's hot sauce
Ranch dressing packet

Ryan and I really liked it, so if you're a fan of buffalo chicken flavored food, you should try it out! It was super easy to make and didn't take very long either!

And...don't forget about our Favorite Things giveaway going on, check it out here to enter! Only a couple days left! Here is what you could win:

*up to $70

Monday, April 15, 2013

Minnesota Shenanigans

1. Mom and I ready to start our 6 hour drive to visit my sister in Minneapolis
2. Ready for a day of shopping with my sister!
3. Mall of America, enough said...we spent 6 hours there.
4. Funny store at the mall.
5. Girls pic at the mall, we had pretty good shopping luck.
6. Next stop, IKEA.
7. That warehouse is huge!! We came home with a few things from here as well.
8. Riding the escalator ramp.
9. Survived our day of shopping!

1. Friday night we went to my cousin Christine's house nearby in St. Paul and she made a delicious supper, including this soup!
2. After supper, we played cranium and catch phrase.
3. The whole group. (and my cousin's fiance who is taking the picture)

Saturday morning, we went with my sister to volunteer for an organization called Feed My Starving Children. She volunteers about once a week. They package food for kids all over the world, and that morning it was being sent to Haiti. It was a really neat experience!

1. In our 2 hour session, the amount of food we packaged. If you can't read that, it says we packed 98 boxes, which is enough for 21,168 meals! That means that in just 2 hours, we were able to make enough to feed about 58 kids for a year!! That is amazing!
2. The entire group in our session hard at work.
3. My sister and I.
4. At the end, we got to taste test the food we packaged, it was actually pretty good!

1. We went to a restaurant called Don Pablos to eat and celebrate my sister's upcoming birthday, it was delicious!
2. They even sang to her and she got to wear this awesome sombrero!
3. Our yummy queso we got.

I had a wonderful weekend with my mom and sister!!

Also, go check out my previous post to learn about a giveaway!!
Click HERE to learn more!!

Favorite Things Giveaway

*up to $70
Today I'm joining Lindsey and Jaime for the very first Favorite Things Giveaway! We, along with 4 other awesome bloggers, are giving away your choice of jewelry from the Kendra Scott Color Bar, worth up to $70.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you are interested in co-hosting next month's giveaway, you can get more information here!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thursday Thoughts...Girls Weekend

Toby's Tails

Linking up with Jaime and Jamie, my lovely Thursday ladies!

Not too much on my mind today, just looking forward to a fun girls weekend with my mom and sister! My mom and I are making the 6 hour drive to visit my sister in Minneapolis and leaving today after work. I'm very excited to spend some quality bonding time with both of them!

One thing on our agenda is a trip to this place! I'm excited for some new spring attire!

I also want to take a visit through IKEA!

Besides that, anyone else have any other recommendations while we are in the area?

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Since it's Wednesday, which is the night one of my new favorite shows is on, I thought I would talk about this favorite show... 

If you don't watch this show already, and if you like country music, you should probably start watching this show, or setting your DVR to record it! 

The show is filled with great country songs, relationships, and of course, some good drama to keep everything exciting.

I'm very excited for tonight's episode, because there is a lot going on and the previews from last week were pretty crazy! Anyone else addicted to this show like I am?

If you don't watch it, I'll leave you with a couple of my favorite songs from the show and see what you think!

Maddie and Daphne, the TV daughters of Rayna (who is one of the main characters on the show)

A couple of my favorites on the show, Scarlett and Gunnar

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

And the Winner of the Madness Is...

Our bracket challenge has come to an end, and after last night's championship game, 
the lucky expert winner is:


Alex picked the Louisville Cardinals to win it all, and she chose correctly!

Photo courtesy of ncaa.com

Congrats to all the Louisville fans from our challenge!

Congrats to Alex at Everything Under the Sun, you've won a $30 Visa Gift Card and ad space from these 7 awesome bloggers!
We will be in contact with you about your winnings!

Thanks again to all of our wonderful blogs who donated ad space!

And, also congrats to our 2nd place finisher, Ty at Arkansassy

Here were the final standings:

We really appreciate everyone who entered the bracket challenge! It was a crazy tournament with a lot of close games, crazy comebacks and exciting upsets. It was fun to follow everyone and see how everyone was doing after each round. 

Thanks again for participating, and hopefully we will do this again next year!


Monday, April 8, 2013

Weekend Shenanigans

Linking up with the wonderful Sami!

This weekend was a good one, had some fun times with great friends!

Friday night my husband came home after being gone all week AGAIN, so we just hung out at home, grilled and watched some TV.

Saturday morning, I finally got to run with my half marathon buddy, Megs and we tackled 10 hilly miles together! We had a lot to catch up on, so we visited during most of the run, which helped it go faster.

We had Easter on my mom's side Saturday afternoon, so it was fun to see quite a few aunts, uncles, and cousins, and of course, delicious food!

Saturday night was the annual Steak Fry in our hometown, and four of our friends came up to go with us. Pretty much, the night consists of a good steak dinner, free beer all night, seeing lots of friends, and gambling (which I didn't do too well).  It was a very fun night!!

Sunday was pretty lazy, which was nice! Sunday night, my neighbor invited me to go play volleyball, which was fun and I was happy to get to meet some new people!

Thanks for stopping by and reading about my Weekend Shenanigans!!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

Toby's Tails

Linking up today and sharing with you my obsession with any type of crime scene show!

For quite a few years now, I just love watching these types of shows. Currently, I don't really watch any particular one every week, I just tend to watch them whenever I get the chance or if there are reruns showing. I think the reason I like them so much (even though some may be a bit unrealistic) is that I am fascinated by how they find all the clues and put them together or how they profile a killer.  I also find it interesting how the detectives and crime scene investigators use critical thinking to solve the crimes!

Here are a few of my favorites:

I like all of the CSI shows, I really don't have a preference to which one I watch.

Love Criminal Minds, although it is sorta creepy sometimes because I know some of these things really happen in our world.

And gotta love Dateline, real life stories and most of the time, they figure out who the culprit is!

Source: google.com via Joanne on Pinterest

Source: imdb.com via Tammy on Pinterest

Source: holidayadds.com via Kim on Pinterest

Source: google.com via Cassidy on Pinterest

                                         Do you watch any of these? Do you have a favorite?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Nailed It!

I was home last night and didn't have a whole lot to do, so I finally took the time to paint my fingernails and toenails. Because I am very much an amateur at this and tend to find multiple ways to mess it up, it only took me about an hour to finally get my nails looking acceptable.  I had to take off and repaint a few nails several times because I smudged them, and then got a piece of the cotton ball fuzz on one of my nails, and finally, I didn't paint the topcoat evenly so it looked messy.

But...here is the final product, and I am pretty proud of myself! Now, we will see if I can go at least a couple days before they start to chip!

And here are the polishes I used! I think they all worked great, and I'm pretty sure that all of my struggles had nothing to do with the actual polish, it was lack of skills.

What are your favorite nail polish brands to use?

Any suggestions on how I could improve on my skills so it doesn't take me as long next time?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Weekend Shenanigans

Friday night, I tried the new Strawberita drink...amazing! Loved it, and they aren't lying when they say it has 8% alcohol.  We went back home for the weekend and spent Friday night with my family and had a friendly game of Scattergories. My sister was home from Minnesota, so we were glad to catch up with her! I also spent a portion of the night in minor depression after my Kansas Jayhawks blew their lead in the basketball game and ended their run during the NCAA tourney.

Saturday morning started out with an almost 9.5 mile run with my running ladies. It was a beautiful morning out for a run! Only a month until our half marathon.

Then we played some basketball with my family, had our Easter supper and ended the night with some friends at the local bar. 

Happy Easter! We celebrated the Lord's resurrection with mass in the morning. Then, we had both of Ryan's extended family Easter gatherings. It was great to see everyone and we even got to see Ryan's cousin's new baby girl, she was adorable! We also had some good bonding time with Ryan's nieces and nephew. Sunday, I lacked in my picture taking, but did snap a couple shots of the Easter goodies I brought to the gatherings.

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend!