top five and a sidenote.

For as long as I've know her, Meghan at The Perfect Compilation Tape has created a little brightness at her space on Thursdays with her Top 5 Thursdays. This Thursdays topic of Top 5 Dream Vacations was too tempting to pass up, so I'm linking up to her.

I think the dream vacation that we are going to at the end of July (eek!) is about as dreamy as can be since we will be staying in Brussels, Paris, and London during our 10-day journey. Regrettably, we did have to cut some locations that were just too far away for us. We couldn't justify spending our precious hours on a train or plane for that long.

So if we had more time (and more money for that matter) here are the Top 5 European Vacation Stops We Would Add to Our Dream Vacation:

Rome, Italy

Berlin, Germany

Edinburgh, Scotland

Prague, Czech Republic

Vienna, Austria

You see?! There is no way we can get to all the places on our must-see list. We are so blessed with the chance to go on such an incredible honeymoon (as Chad likes to call it).
Link up with Meghan if you wish and share in all the wanderlust...

Sidenote: Before I close on this fun topic that Meghan dreamed up, I wanted to send out prayers to all those in the South who have had to go through this devastating series of tornadoes. (Click here for the full story from CNN.) I have never had to go through a weather-related experience like this, so I can only sympathize will all those who are without power, food, and a home today. Makes me all the more thankful to God that I do have these things today.


royal wedding party.

Okay, I know I'm not the only one out there who can't wait to watch the royal wedding Friday/early Saturday (although I do admit--the coverage is getting crazy!). Fun fact: Will's picture (ripped from Seventeen) was on Laura + my wall for probably two years. He was our crush for the longest time! :)

For my sisters, mom, and I, it will actually be breakfast time since, of course, we don't live anywhere near London. But, thanks to my sister's DVR, we'll get the best of both worlds on Saturday morning--sleep and snuggle time with nephew + niece followed by scones, muffins, orange juice and tea in front of the TV (pajamas optional). The family is already going to be at my sister's house for the birthday parties of my BIL and nephew, so I figured why not throw a breakfast party for the ladies? Now the guys have to figure out what they are going to do...

How about you: Will you be watching the wedding this weekend?

*If you don't know which channel you'd like to watch, here's the rundown of all the coverage from the Huffington Post.*

images 1/2/4/5/7/8 all from pinterest. image 3: here. image 6: here. image 9: here (printables).


his + hers: a curd survey

Before getting to the heart of this post: my cheese curd survey, I just wanted to say Hey and Happy Easter Monday. Are you back at work or do you get one extra day off (today) like me and my fellow Stoutians? It is so refreshing to take a break like the one I am finishing (from the blog and from homework) and get back on track, which includes finishing mountains of laundry, cleaning the inside of our microwave, and completing a research project plan.
Now, I wasn't originally going to have my second his + hers post be about anything food related (again) but this topic fell into my lap. Yesterday morning we went to our church brunch before the service. The typical foods were all there: pancakes, french toast, fruit, muffins, eggs...and cheese curds. For this raised-in-Minnesota-girl, the bowl of curds on the table threw me off. That's when I made a statement to Chad (who had curds on his plate): "People in Wisconsin love cheese curds. If you're not from Wisconsin, you don't like cheese curds."

These few words sparked an afternoon of surveying family members from both sides of the Wisconsin/non-Wisconsin camps. After getting support on my side from my parents (both not from Wisconsin) Chad said "Having 3 people agree with you isn't a very large poll" and he was right. I need a larger audience.

So I'm opening this innocent, not-professional-by-any-means survey up to you, hoping your answers will support this hypothesis. All you have to do is answer these questions in the comments section:  

1) What state are you from? (Or country for those of you not in the States)
2) Do you like cheese curds?

I'll even make it a little fun....I'll pick one person randomly at the end of the week and send them a little prize just for playing! :) 



It's not spring around here until Chad and I have grilled brats, had a beer, and watched one Brewers game together. It's our little tradition. As of Friday of last week, it was officially spring.

Other ways we know it's spring in our house:

*Our screen door will stay open until I complain of being chilly around 930 at night.
*I get to buy new flats (today!)
*Chad takes his motorcycle to work.
*Chad will go to the driving range after work (it's dangerously close to where we live which means he goes there tri-weekly)
*When it's a little nicer out, we'll start walking to the grocery store and walking around the river
*Blueberries and asparagus are on sale. hooray!

How do you celebrate spring?


the most simple Easter craft.

I'm not even kidding. It took me two episodes of Sex and the City to complete this colorful Easter garland. It is just such a cheery piece of Easter in my kitchen. I like it because you can use any colors you want and it includes a trip to the hardware store--which is a bonus if you have a husband that doesn't really get in touch with his crafty side ("But honey, we're going to Menards!").  :)

Here's what you need:

String // I used thick white thread and a needle and I was set. I've seen other people using dental floss and a needle. Pretty much whatever you have lying around.

Paint Samples // Whatever colors you want and whatever amount you want. If you want them to be close in color, pick out a rainbow of shades (which is what several others have done in addition to me). Figure that two egg shapes can fit onto one sample.

Scissors, Egg Shape, Needle (or something to make a hole with--you want the hole small).

Giving credit where credit is due...the reason that mine doesn't look so uniform is because I didn't cut the paint samples in half which means I don't have the white line running through the middle. Mine's a little more eclectic and I kinda like it.  :)

So if you are looking for a new Easter idea--give this one a go. Plus, it's free!

P.S. Anyone else love reading the paint colors? Wouldn't that be a cool job...


falling in love once again.

"A new baby is like the beginning of 
all things wonder, hope, 
a dream of possibility"
--Eda J. LeShan

We are in so much love with our new niece who was born yesterday. Please don't mind the radio silence as I will be holding her for the next week. (Okay, not really--school frowns upon taking personal days just to hold babies, but a girl can dream.) 

We love you, Miss Z

XOXO: Uncle Chad + Aunt Amanda


two recipes that will make your guy happy.

Before I divulge my secrets to your man's stomach, let me just tell you how awesome your comments have been as of late. It makes me happy that so many of you agree with me (we pulp-free lovers have to stick together!). It makes me even more happy and delighted that I can write about such a trivial thing as pulp-free/pulpy orange juice and you'll still read. (I love you guys!)

I know it's been over a week since Chad's birthday, but these recipes are not late...you want to know why? We are still eating Guinness cake + drinking glasses of milk even though his birthday was two weeks ago:

The Marlboro Man Sandwich

When I told Chad I was going to make sandwiches for his birthday dinner, he gave me this look like "Really. I get sandwiches for dinner...like turkey/cheese/mayo sandwiches?" Ree helped me change that opinion very quickly.

Guinness Cake via Design Sponge.

This cake is everything you imagined it would be. Moist. Chocolate-y. Delicious. Simply put: It's awesome.

You (and your man) will thank me for these recipes. And by me, I of course mean the people that actually created them. I followed them to a T (because I don't mess around with baking measurements at all--I'm a cooking wimp like that).

In other news: Tomorrow I will be going to see my new niece on her day of birth. My sis, Laura has had to be on yucky bed rest for about a month, so we all can't wait to meet the little girl (I think her especially). We are playing a fun game in my family called "Name the Baby Contest". Laura told us that the baby's name is in the Social Security's Top 1000 Girl's Names of 2009 (thanks for narrowing it down, sis) :), so we are all picking one and seeing if we are even a little close. The winner doesn't really get anything, but we all get to see our new family member so we're pretty excited. Be back on Tuesday with pictures and her name. :)


his + hers: how do you like your o.j.?

Happy Monday afternoon!

My first Monday in April has been good--at daycare we had pizza for lunch & went for a walk on campus. I'm going to finish the night with ravioli, a workout, and watching the NCAA championship with the boy (like I would do this by myself...)

Today's fun little post is inspired by Brooke at pure and noble and Alli at hooray. They do a weekly/monthly post on Mondays documenting little randoms in their lives with their guys. This might appear more and more over here, so stay tuned (and play along if you wish!)

So today I ask you: Do you like your orange juice pulp-free like me, or are you like Chad who thinks the-pulpier-the-better? :)


28 facts about the birthday boy.

My husband, Chad, ten years ago on his 18th birthday!

01. He loves to cook. (He is especially fond of cooking meat. Which is good, because I completely fail at cooking meat--mine always comes out dry or undercooked. He is able to get any piece of chicken, turkey, fish, or beef well-seasoned and perfectly moist.
02. He gets excited about new things on the web, all thanks to his Twitter feed. Without him, I wouldn't know about Rebecca Black.
03. He knows every fact about the NFL without looking it up. What college Reggie Bush went to? (Knows it.) How many touchdowns Aaron Rodgers threw last season? (Knows it.)
04. He looks good in his glasses...while I look like I'm not even trying when I wear my glasses.
05. He takes his wedding ring off right before bed and puts it on his nightstand.
06. He's the one in our house who drinks his coffee black and his orange juice pulpy.
07. His work day isn't over until his socks come off. (To him, it is the greatest feeling after a nine hour shift.)
08. He loves planning trips. Our European adventure would not happen if it was up to me to plan it. But he loves figuring out which hostels are close to the British Museum or Buckingham Palace.
09. He is Karma's papa. Karma will leap off the couch (while she's sitting next to me, thank you very much), run to the door, and meow until he opens it. Every. single. day.
10. He knows if Paul or John is singing the Beatles song we are listening to. When we drive home from church, our favorite game to play is "Guess the Beatle" (I always lose).
11. He never forgets to read our devotion before we go to bed.
12. His hair changes with the seasons: winter = long and shaggy. summer = clean and short (my favorite).
13. He is number 2 on my speed dial (second only to my voicemail).
14. His impression of leave Britney alone is spot on.
15. I know when he's watched the TV in the living room when I flip it on and ESPN is on. (On the contrary, he knows that I've been watching TV when he sees that Bravo is on.)
16. He holds our hymnal in church.
17. He holds my hand while he drives.
18. He has a palette that prefers dark beer...I tried a Guiness the other day (you know, in order to prepare for London) and I couldn't even finish it. There's no hope for us to ever share an Indian Pale Ale at the end of the night...
19. He will find a band that is amazing, rave about it, buy their album, and tell me about them Five months later, I'll jump on the bandwagon.
20. He knew of Arcade Fire, back when they were The Arcade Fire.
21. He likes spicy food. We've had to compromise on meals we make...it'll be spicy enough for me, and then after I take my helping, he puts the cayenne on his.
22. He checks the golf course by work everyday he drives past---he will golf every free Saturday until October.
23. He is the one who know how much money we have in the funds and when the bills are due.
24. He watches Beavis and Butthead and Futurama on our Netflix.
25. He wants to open a restaurant or brewery someday.
26. He watches Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives when I'm stuck doing homework.
27. He's the one who calms me down when I'm riled up, and comforts me when I'm feeling crappy.
28. He is the best.


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