When Chad worked for a bank a couple years ago, his lovely co-worker, Pang, gave him this recipe. A few weeks ago, we made it and are now eagerly awaiting summer when we can snack on this all the time. It's so tasty and easy to make. See directions below--it will not disappoint

Fiesta Bean Dip
{or Chad's Packers Dip--he's the one who wants to call it that}

1 can each:
* black beans
* red beans
* pinto beans
* black eye peas
* shoepeg corn

1/2 cup each:
* apple cider vinegar
* granulated sugar
* vegetable oil

yellow pepper
green pepper
red onion
jalapeno (optional)

Drain each can and put in large bowl. Rinse the beans with cold water until clean. Set aside.
{You are gonna need a large, large bowl. This makes a big batch of dip.}

In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, and oil on low heat until sugar is dissolved.

Dice peppers and onions and combine with beans.
Drizzle sugar mixture and stir.

{For best results, leave in refrigerator for several hours before eating. That will make it not so 'soupy' and will give the sugar mixture time to get soaked into the beans.}

our saturday visitor

Look who came to visit grandma, grandpa, and aunts this Saturday! UJammer and his mama drove over for some time with us. UJ is a crawling machine (so close to standing), banana eater, block chewer, anything grabber. If he sees anything with those big brown eyes of his--it will go in his mouth. He is such a joy.

Apologies for some of the blurry pictures: It's impossible to get sharp photos of this creepy-crawler...

one great {chick} flick

Was watching this movie last night. Such a great one {in my opinion}.

my reasons why this movie is wonderful:
-Meg Ryan's frizzy hair, big curls, small curls, and feathered flips {she went through some hair changes throughout the movie}
-{and her bright blue eyeshadow}
-the scenes with the couples on the couches
-Harry Conick Jr. singing in the background
-how Sally orders food {everything's on the side for her} In the words of Harry: "On the side" is a very big thing for you.
-New York just as I always have imagined it: the scene where they're walking through Central Park in the fall is so heavenly
-Nora Ephron wrote the screenplay {I've got the book that Marta suggested on hold at my library right now}
-the speech that Harry says to Sally at the end..."I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible"

simply wonderful.



Anyone have an idea of how I could use these masking tape rolls in the wedding? They are way too pretty to not have in the wedding. I'll even make earrings and ties out of them... 


The picture above has nothing to do with the words above, but I saw it when checking my reader this morning and couldn't stop staring at it. 

After an hour and 40 minute delay in Milwaukee this is all the oomph I can muster today.

The trip was unbelievable and I'll share some of our favorite pictures next week. If you'd like to get a recap sooner, check out Chad's twitter feed where you can see all of the beach, the sun, the eating, and the city.  I've still got to edit and delete some pictures this weekend, but I'll share them soon.

Right now, I'm thanking God that He allowed me to have both my afternoon classes be canceled (unfortunately both teachers have illness) so that I can catch up on homework, papers, lesson plans, and getting back into the swing of life.


5.15: hair for the bride.

Time for another wedding update!

My beautiful and talented future SIL, Sara, offered to do my hair for the wedding. It's so generous of her since she's in the wedding and I didn't want her to have to do any work on the wedding day. But, she's willing so now I've gotta figure out what I have in mind.

I'm thinking down. I've been growing my hair out for the past two years ever since I was in my sister's wedding.  It's gone from {picture on the left} to {picture on the right}:

I know--it's crazy long compared to how I had it then. This is the longest my hair has been since I was in kindergarten.

I'm thinking about these pictures when imagining my wedding day hair:

Big beautiful curls. That's what I'm looking for.

Isn't that picture of Emmy Rossum absolutely gorgeous?!


I'm loving it here. {Note: I posted this the day before we left...I knew that I would be having a wonderful trip.}  I also know that I don't want to go back to Wisconsin and live like a snow bunny for the next month.


IKEA purchases

{Note: I've lined up some posts to be scheduled while I'm gone--happy reading!}

Remember when Chad and I went to IKEA a million years ago? Now, it was nothing like Tom and Summer's trip {500 Days of Summer is on my wishlist-btw}:

but we did manage to pick up some furniture pieces that will be part of our newly married furniture

All of it is sitting in boxes at Chad's parents house waiting for May when we can assemble. I am not the most patient person, so assembling and finding part J223 will be a true test for me.

I'm so glad that we have a couple things already checked off the list, mountain, of things that we have to get before 5.15.

What are some of your favorite IKEA purchases?

1. and the mama version too. 2. 3.



It's like she knows we are getting married in {88} days. If I wasn't already wearing Chad's grandmother's heirloom necklace for the wedding, I'd have to sneak this in the day somewhere.

Since the wedding day is on the fast track here, I've got a few wedding planning posts in the works--stay tuned!


God's handwriting

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

For some reason, I can't stop looking at this picture today. I took it in August during our trip out West.  I love that the sunlight is peeking through the trees. Those trees. They filled me with such wonder and amazement when we were there. I remember this place being filled with peace+quiet. A place for us to stare and admire all that our Creator made. Many thanks go to Marta for finding Ralph's words and sharing them with all of us.

P.S. Laura, by the time you guys visit again, there will be a flash drive filled with our CA pictures waiting for E. 


a v-day list...

01. love this girly baby shower.
02. love this card. I want to buy it, frame it, and put it in my soon-to-be apartment.
03. love this girl's style--she reminds me of miss zooey.
04. love this memo. I'm going to repeat that mantra to myself: Be in the moment. 
05. love this list that marta wrote. so eloquent.



Happy Valentine's Day weekend. How are you celebrating?

My valentine and I went out to dinner last night, which was a much needed break from the normal routine. I curled my hair and he supplied the bouquet of flowers (including gerbera daisies, which he knows I like since they are going to be our wedding flowers).

Here are some images that have been taking up space in my blog folder (under the love tab--is it weird that I have a love tab?)
Maybe it's just because I am in early childhood, but I think this one is cute. I also think that a blue line and green line of paint is cute, so maybe I shouldn't be trusted.
This quote is so true when thinking about love, not just romantic love, but the love that Christ shows us daily. He is the one that loves us passionately. He is the Prime Example of extraordinary love.

This one also mirrors my teacher profession. It's a new spin on the sweethearts that you get at the school's Valentine's party. At my school, we've upgraded to the sweet tarts version {no chalky, cheap candy for my kindergartners}.

This one is just funny. Chad and I think farts are hilarious...cute? Not so much.

This one makes me think about a couple weeks ago when we all went out to dinner for Chad's aunt's birthday and we were talking with his sister about when we all worked together. Somehow, we got on the subject of what would happen if I had never worked there. I simply said, "then we would find another way to meet." Through God's wisdom and knowledge He designed this man to be my husband and partner throughout the rest of my life. I am {blessed} to have been lead to you.



This is magic.

If I could have any of the thousands of ideas and images swirling in my head come true for our wedding, I'd want this one. How beautiful are those lanterns?

his + hers: debating Sunday.

Hello Monday readers!

Let's start out by making a deal...we are not going to talk about the fact that my team lost last night. It's just going to be ugly if we go there--I'll stop speaking, ban ESPN from the tv, write a poem, drink another beer...we don't want that to happen.

Here's another debate of ours that we need help settling. {I don't want you to think that all Chad and I do is argue--I just like posting them because it fascinates me how men and women think differently. Plus, it's a healthy way to start married life.} :)

What is Sunday? Is it the beginning of the week or the end of the week?
It's confusing, right? Sunday is the end of the weekend, but every calendar has Sunday at the beginning.

Amanda: Team Start of the week. Chad: Team End of the Week{end}.

Vote Now! {Who ever has the most people side with them gets to give the other person "Hurts Donuts?" for the whole week...Chad, just in case you win, that is a joke.}

P.S. Do you still need a 2010 calendar? If I wasn't moving in May, I would already have this one hanging on my refrigerator:


5.15: the BIG 100

{adorableness spotted here...can't wait for this!}

When was the last time that I wrote about my wedding? Four or five months ago?:)

Today is it. Today marks the 100th day until our wedding. It's such a feat to know that after today we'll be in double instead of triple digits. Then time is just going to fly. 

Okay, so it wasn't that long ago, but I still thought that I should chronicle what's been happening with it--I will look back on this in a year or two and will appreciate the details. I think one of the main reasons I haven't been updating the wedding posts so frequently is because I'm out there doing it. I'm out there planning and making decisions about the big day. Checking things off the to-do list. The newly-engaged excitement has worn down so that I can actually think and talk with Chad about what we want instead of gazing at my ring every 2.5 seconds and buying wedding magazines. Did this happen to you, past brides?

Our cake is going to be small and cheap. Chad and I both don't really care about the cake and how it looks, so we'll be getting a simple 6X8 round cake with cupcakes for everyone else. The cake has this cream cheese frosting that is so so divine--that's the whole reason that we're going with a cake in the first place. That darn frosting.

For me, I've always run into the problem that I'm never quite sure which colors look good on me when it comes to makeup. I never know the right foundation shade or what lipstick works with my natural complexion. Luckily, my aunt, who sells Mary Kay products is coming into town this weekend to help me figure all that out.


Done. Tuxes aren't that hard to decide on. It took us one hour to drive there, pick them out, and get Chad measured. Easy-peasy.

In the beginning it was a headache. This was a total DIY process and one that was really hard to get rolling. I relied very heavily on my MOH to measure everything out since she is so precise. I wanted to emboss them but that turned into a frustration that I didn't want to have. {That's my whole goal--to be as calm as possible throughout the whole last 3 months...am doing good so far.} Now we are stamping them and although it's not exactly how I imagined it, it's still turning out really good.

Check. Chad took care of all the arrangements--calling the hotel, asking about any upgrades we can get, booking the room...everything. It was so nice to not have to deal with all that. Now I just get to think about the vacation I get to have with my new husband.

Wedding Bands:
There they are:

We keep them safe in Chad's lock box with an understanding that we will not wear until 5.15. The band Chad chose for me fits perfectly in with my engagement ring-it just latches right in, and Chad's band suits him to a T.

So there it is, a sampling of what we've been up to. Will probably have to document the plans as the day gets closer.

Fact: I am excited.


peek into my childhood.

In early January, along with a day trip to Laura's, we also went to see my grandparents. They have lived in the same house since before I was born and it's one of the most familiar places in my world. No, I don't know where the roaster is put after washed, but I do know where to find the chocolate-chip cookies {the most important knowledge when at grandma's, right?}

During our visit, I kept poking around, looking at what my grandma had collected during the last 60+ years of her marriage. I found four different colored Fiesta dinner plates, that inspired my love for them {more about that in a different post, but I'll just say that our Younkers registry is 95.5% Fiesta dinnerware.} I looked through all the old toys that are kept in the basement--which, when we were younger, was the grandkids hangout. I felt a wave of nostalgia when I took these pictures because I thought of five-year-old me playing with all my cousins, after dinner and after opening Christmas presents.

Here's a sampling of the treasures my grandparents have stored in their basement:
I look forward to building up my stock of toys for my future children and grandchildren to play with.


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