Saturday, September 29, 2012

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

So when I think of beef stroganoff, all I can think of are those Dinty Moore microwave meals...weird huh? I remember thinking I was so cool bringing those to school in middle school instead of a childish PB&J. Haha. Anyway, I decided to try my hand at making it on my own and in the crockpot...hello easy! It was delicious! 

Ingredients
2 pounds stew beef
2 cans golden mushroom soup
1 large onion diced
3-4 tbsp of Worcestershire
1/2 cup water
1 8 oz block of cream cheese
Egg noodles


1. Combine all ingredients (minus the beef, cream cheese, and egg noodles) and mix thoroughly in the crockpot
2. Add the beef 
3. Cook on low for 5-6 hours (depending on your crockpot) 
4. Cut up the cream cheese into chunks and melt in the last 10 minutes of cooking
5. Serve over cooked egg noodles



Friday, September 28, 2012

It works.

Have you ever been skeptical of something working? Your 20 year old car? The shake weight? Or those commercials claiming you can make $5k in a week working part time at home? Well I can't guarantee any of those things to you today but I can tell you what works. Prayer. I have experienced it first hand and I pray that you have too.

Right now, things are crazy. This week has been like none other experienced. As a family we are experiencing some tough stuff but we are optimistic and we have each other. We have the Lord on our side too. I know I don't have the plead with you, asking for prayers, because as Christians, prayer should be an everyday conversation we have. So friends, please pray.

I can also tell you that a series of unfortunate events has struck those close to me. Some of it trivial, some of it life changing. You know those days that just suck? The days I was talking about in Wednesday's post about my optimism. Yeah I had one of those this week. Watching 16 ounces of water splash over my new $1,000 laptop. Our garage door breaking while Jon was traveling. 2 nails in my tire. My little brother slicing his throwing hand open and getting stitches. I can honestly tell you that as much as those things sucked, I was okay. I was okay because 1. there are way bigger things going on in my life right now and 2. things can be fixed and replaced (I learned this at 16 after my first car accident...cars can be fixed, people can't). I found solace in knowing there was a reason for these things occuring. Was God trying to tell me to slow down after spilling water on my laptop? By His grace alone, my laptop is back up and running. The IT department at my office swore it was fried and told me I needed to go buy a lottery ticket because I was so lucky. To me, that's not luck. That is God's work. His grace telling me to relax, slow down, be at peace. Now I have no ideas as to why our garage door broke but I better be learning a darn good lesson because being a homeowner is expensive!!!

Now I don't want you to worry because worrying solves nothing. I can't wait to share with you some of the things that will be happening in our lives.

Like putting this headband on my niece next week...


Jon and I will be spending time in Dallas this weekend and next week so forgive me for being out of the loop. I am looking forward to soaking in all these precious moments with our family, moments that make life so worth living.

....and because we all need a little Ernie in our lives, this is one of my favorite pictures of Mr. Chunk from when he was a puppy. He looks like he is praying/worshiping and that just makes my heart happy.






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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

3 words

If someone asked you to describe yourself in 3 words, would you be able to? What would you say? I racked my brain on this for a while and let's just say...describing yourself is hard. It easy to physically describe myself...short (okay really short), dark brown hair, green eyes, dimples, always next to a hunky Italian with big shoulders. But my personality/character/style? Not so easy.

One of my strengths is optimism and I am proud of that. I want to see the good in situations and in people (yes that can come to bite you in the butt but for the most part, it's helpful). When life sucks, I try to focus on what is good. I don't think I can tell you a day that was just an all around crappy day. Been dumped? Yes I have. Been laid off a week before my wedding? Yup. But those hard times didn't keep me down. There are even days where I am feeling off yet a song, conversation, picture, etc can change my mood. Life is to short to be a pessimist. So my first word would be optimistic

 Okay now that I am writing it, I can think of another. I am 100% outgoing. I can easily make friends with a tree. I thrive on getting to know someone and connecting via conversation, jokes, and interaction. It's fun at work because my office is made up of mostly introverted, quiet, software developers but that doesn't stop me. I'm not nervous to strike up a conversation with anyone...heck I even walked right up to President George Bush Senior while he was working at out the student rec center at Texas A&M (his library is there). Other people were scared but I saw it as an opportunity (cool story, I ended up meeting him again on campus and he said he remembered me and my dimples)

Third= creative.  I love to craft, I love to decorate, and I love trying new things in the kitchen. I get so much joy out of making and creating, it gives me a sense of identity and accomplishment. This isn't a recent thing for me either. A few examples from growing up:
  • Cutting up old Christmas cards to re purpose into ornaments, gift tags, etc
  • Gluing together popsicle sticks to make just about anything (jewelry boxes for mom, mail holders for dad). I've probably been using a glue gun since 1995!
  • Using last year's handwriting and math work books to play school with my little sister and her friends

I asked my sponsors to describe themselves in 3 words...








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What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?

 If you are interested in sponsoring The Chronicles of Ruthie Hart, check out my sponsor tab! Please use the code 3WORDS for 40% off all ad sizes.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Sneak Peek

Monday mornings used to be my enemy. I mean they still aren't my favorite but last night Jon and I were talking about how new weeks don't scare us anymore because we are liking where our lives are going. I am coming to work earlier and getting to watch the sunrise which is pretty darn cool. As we were going to bed I totally forgot that I had wanted to do a video blog with Jon this weekend, answering the questions on last week's post. Between work, travel, etc, I know we won't get to it this week. Maybe next weekend.

So despite having lots to do, I slept a lot this weekend. Like two naps on the couch which is RARE for me. Jon doesn't mind because he can watch football in silence haha. 

Because I am too antsy and can't wait to show you...here's a sneak peek of our family photos with Jen Stamps from Saturday :-)




I was naive to think fall was here to stay...it was SO hot. Ernie was a trooper and I can't wait to see what she got. Now if only Ernie's acting/modeling career would take off, I could quit my day job!

Other tidbits from the weekend...

Double date night #ootd

Sweet Ty Guy...seriously you look at this little guy and he smiles ear to ear

Saturday night we went to one of my childhood best friend's wedding. This wedding was 8 1/2 years in the making and absolutely gorgeous.

Honestly, there is nothing more precious than a Christ centered marriage. Their ceremony was so encouraging and they are an inspiring couple. 



No such thing as too much chevron (truth because I wore this dress in family pictures too haha)

My parents and us

I think it is so much fun to go to weddings when you are married. You really appreciate all the time and effort that goes into planning the whole thing, and you get to sit back, relax, and enjoy yourself.  I especially love going to weddings with this hottie...

3 married ladies (you may recognize my bff Alyssa from her wedding pictures!)

Sunday was celebrated at church and cheering on the Browns with some fellow Cleveland-ers. A few people commented on my Instagram photo about us being Browns fans...Jon lived in Cleveland his entire life until moving to Texas to go to Bayor. He is no fair weather fan!



I find myself wanting to 100% relax in my own home when we have downtime on the weekends. During the week is when I try to get my errands and chores done so we can have us time on the weekends. More naps, Breaking Bad, Scrabble, playing with Ernie, back rubs, bible time is what we look forward to. Unfortunately that means tonight we have some yard work and projects to do around the house. 

This is an exciting time for our family and can't wait to share this season with you all.


Bloggers/shop owners, I am offering 50% off all of my sponsor spots today with the code MONDAY! See my sponsor tab here.
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Saturday, September 22, 2012

White Chocolate Butterscotch Blondies

I was recently at a get together where some sort of butterscotch dessert was served and I was hooked. Shortly after, I came across this recipe and knew I had to make it. Normally I am a full on chocolate 
fanatic when it comes to dessert but butterscotch has tickled my fancy. Yummy!

Ingredients
1 stick melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butterscotch chips, melted
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup white chocolate chips

1. Combine melted butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla. 
2. Add melted butterscotch chips and mix until smooth.
3. Add your baking soda, salt and flour. Mix until combined.
4. Sprinkle in white chocolate chips and stir until evenly incorporated.
5. Pour batter into a greased 8x8 pan
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes
7. Let cool and cut into squares





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Friday, September 21, 2012

On Friday

So the new blogger sucks. I can only upload 1 picture at a time because when I try to upload 2-3, I exceed the size limit because the pics are high res from my real camera. Ugh. So the post for this morning is going to wait until I have more time to curse figure this out.

I am so ready to see Jon this evening. He has been traveling a lot for work and I am being a weenie. I know there are people whose husbands leaves for weeks or months at a time but there aren't any rules to missing your spouse. Ernie goes on a hunger strike when Jon travels and I seem to eat everything in sight. Surprisingly I had a substantial dinner last night (chicken and broccoli) followed by my normal lonesome self snacks (quesadilla, chocolate milk, bagel chips). I also sleep walked two nights ago which is scary because Jon wasn't there to get me out of it. I scared Ernie so bad, we didn't get much sleep :-/ he was so spooked. Ugh!!

I don't know what I would do when Jon is gone if it weren't for Ernie. He's my best bud. (and don't tell me he looks big here, it makes me sad! His head is super big but he is pretty small and short)


My love for GroopDealz has hit a peak and I am no longer allowing myself to order things (at least until my 6 items arrive haha). I also discovered VeryJane and am teaming up with them for an awesome giveaway next month! Can't wait to share it with y'all. Check them out for awesome boutique/handmade deals. 



Sporting my new Threads from The Shine Project (and once again, Ernie thinks everything is his!). I'm not really a Hunger Games fan but it looks Hunger Games-esque right?

I have been thinking about getting curtains in our formal dining room and got some great recommendations on Instagram. I am thinking I will put up one long rod and start with 2 panels over the small windows and possibly add more? Now where to buy panels/fabric?!

I am GIDDY excited for family pictures tomorrow with Jen Stamps. We haven't gotten pictures taken since our engagement (besides the wedding) and Ernie is going to be in them! I spent about an hour planning our outfits and dug up these Target cuties (they are probably 5 years old and have been worn twice).


One of my childhood best friends is getting married tomorrow and I cannot wait for this marriage! It's been about 8 years in the making! We have lots of fun things in the queue this weekend.

A few questions...

  • Bloggers...any tips for the new interface? How can I upload multiple high res photos at the same time? I don't have time to single upload!
  • How do I know when my phone is ready for the IoS6 update? I rarely use our desktop where iTunes is loaded, should I just plug my phone in? 
  • Thanks for all the awesome comments yesterday. Some of you left great questions so maybe Jon and I will do a vlog together?? Anything else you want to know?

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Creative questions

It's funny that when you are married to someone you like (and love obviously!), you really never run out of things to talk about. Our marriage is built on a strong friendship that started before we dated and I am so thankful that we have that foundation. Yes I know my husband, but I still learn new things about him all the time. We love playing the game Creative Questions, and it always sparks up great conversations. No it isn't a game you buy at Target or download on your iPhone,  it is 100% made up. One person asks a question and the other answers (then the question asker has to answer too). And you switch. 

I try to think of things we've never discussed or haven't brought up in a while. Or fun things that will make us laugh. There are really no rules to the game but we play it often, like on our way home from Dallas last weekend.


Here are some of the ones we've used recently. I will answer some...and some I will keep to myself...


What is your favorite color to wear?

R-yellow
J- black...if you remember he is a metal head and owns about 50 black band tshirts



If you could talk to your dad, what would you say?
Jon's dad passed away 3 years ago before I had the chance to meet him...

If you had to change your name, what would it be?
R- Elizabeth
J- he couldn't think of one...I told him Will or Jordan



When do you want to start trying for babies?
:-)


What is 1 thing you are excited about this week?
R- family pictures this weekend
J- having a weekend at home and going to a wedding (I am excited about this too!)



What are a few things you want to accomplish before your birthday?
This question was for Jon since his 30th in is 6 months, pretty big milestone




If you could play a professional sport for a living, what would it be?
R- golf, even though Top Golf proved I sucked, it is a high paying, low impact sport with a long career span



If you had to change your last name to something having to do with the post office, what would it be? (this one was Jon's haha)
R- Postal or Express
J- Jonny Envelope



What is something you are praying about right now?
Lots of things. God is really revealing Himself to us right now, we are grateful for that.  



What are 3 trips you want to go on in your life?

I can't remember exactly what each of us said but we both want to go to Europe, specifically Italy and Greece, before we have children. 



We also like playing 20 questions. One person chooses a noun (person, place or thing) and the other has to ask yes or no questions to try to guess what it is. Jon laughs because I come up with the most random people and I always stump him! It is fun to pass the time.



Anything you'd like to know from me and Jon?


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Monday, September 17, 2012

Scenes from Dallas

We spent the entire weekend (Thursday-Sunday) in Dallas seeing 3 different sets of people...3 nights, 3 different beds. Despite having a packed weekend, we were never rushed and left feeling full and relaxed (and a bit tired, I slept on the way home). 

I drove up Thursday and met up with my hubby downtown. We had a yummy and romantic date night and loved our hotel, the Aloft Downtown Dallas. 


In the morning we had a delicious breakfast at Zaguan which I highly recommend. It is a Latin bakery/cafe and they gave you so much food that I didn't eat lunch. Jon had meetings north of Dallas so I popped around from McDonald's to Barnes & Noble using their free wi-fi to work :-).


A tiny rock came crashing into our windshield during rush hour traffic later that afternoon and that really sucked. We went to get it fixed immediately so it's fine but urgh. And can I just say Dallas traffic blows?!

We headed to my sister's house and my little sister had driven up from College Station for the night. Tomi was sporting the Pinterest sock bun and wanted to try it on me. Thanks for all the compliments on Instagram but I don't think I will ever do it myself. Jon said it looked like a potato on my head and I wasn't really diggin' it on me. 


Tomi and her 2 big brothers (I gave her back her sock bun haha)

Sisters (we look soooo much alike...psych)

Any Dallas peeps been to Top Golf (btw what do you call people who live in Dallas? Dallasans?). We have been wanting to go for a while and it was really fun! I've only swung a club a handful of times but it was fun to attempt. If you've never been, it's a 3 story driving range where the balls are microchipped and you aim for different areas to score different points. It's a lot like bowling. FYI Top Golf is coming to Austin in April. It will be at MoPac/183 where there used to be a driving range.


My niece is ready for her debut!

Saturday we went to Dallas Arboretum and saw the Chihuly Exhibit then did some thrifting and had lunch. I have no clue what I am going to do with this little guy but at $1.50, I couldn't say no. It was my one purchase of the day...


That evening we drove up to the Denton area for a wedding shower for our two sweet friends, Maggie and Colin! Their wedding is the first weekend in October and we are flying to Mexico in just 16 days (can you tell I am so ready?!). 


Surprisingly Jon and I were really good at the Newlywed game and scored a Lowe's gift card! Apparently Jon thinks he was the one who wanted/encouraged marriage first and he couldn't think of anything that I didn't like about him haha. The hosts of the shower breed Maltipoos and they had a litter of 4, born just 5 days prior. They were the size of hamsters and couldn't open their eyes yet. Jon's mom used to breed so I love when Jon tells me stories of how tiny the puppies were, this was my first time seeing such little pups. It made me miss my little chunk (whose ears were as big as a tiny Maltipoo). And no....we aren't getting another dog :-)


Maggie and Colin just bought a castle of a house and we got to share their first night at the new place! So much fun (and so glad we are done with moving haha!). Sunday morning we attended The Village Church and got to see Matt Chandler speak live. It was wonderful and more than I could have imagined. His energy, his word, the music. I listen to his sermons probably once a day or every other day so it was so cool to watch him get excited. The Village is in a great series right now called City on a Hill and it is going to be great for me and Jon to pinpoint and recognize where we are struggling with sin. If you live in the area...go! If not, check out The Village Church app...literally hundreds of teachings at your fingertips. 

Chunky was excited to see us last night and I am looking forward to a few weekends at home. We are taking family pictures (me, Jon and Ernie) this weekend with the lovely Jennifer Stamps and I couldn't be more excited!!!!

The next time I go to Dallas it will be to see my niece, Embry!

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