13 & 14 weeks


Today I am 14 weeks 1 day pregnant.  I can't believe how fast the past couple of weeks have gone.  My next appointment is at 16 weeks and I can't wait for it!

13 weeks.
14 weeks.
I was 14 weeks on Christmas.  And was obviously not feeling well - I look like a train wreck!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

I love Christmas, but I always get a little sad when it's over.  My husband and I had a wonderful and relaxing Christmas day, but I cannot say the same for Christmas Eve.  Unfortunately.  I've had a head & chest cold for the past couple days, and I woke up on Christmas Eve with a 101.8 temperature, the biggest migraine of my life, nausea, the chills, and still a head & chest cold.  The migraine was so bad that I could barely open my eyes.  I spent the better part of the day laying on the couch with my eyes closed, unable to sleep because I felt so horrible.  All the while my amazing husband took on the task of running my errands for me, cleaning up around the house, making me breakfast, and rubbing vicks on my chest and feet.  He's so sweet to me!

By about 6pm, I felt worse and the fever wasn't going down which is no good for my poor baby.  So I spent about 4 hours in the ER and they gave me an IV and 3 liters of fluid to rehydrate me, as well as medicine for the nausea and for the migraine.  The only good thing that came out of that night was that we were able to hear our baby's heartbeat for the first time!  It was the most beautiful whoosh whoosh sound I've ever heard.  I could have listened to it all night.  And the heartbeat was at 170bpm!  A little fast, but only because of the dehydration and fever.  By the time I left the ER, I felt loads better.  The fever was gone, and the headache was mostly gone.  Now I'm just stuck with a nasty cold.  My poor nose has been rubbed raw from all the tissues I've gone through.  :(

Christmas Day, although still with a nasty cold, was a bit better than Christmas Eve.  We had some amazing food and my sweet husband helped me with the cooking.  My mouth is watering just thinking about the leftovers!  We watching A Christmas Story while opening gifts, and just had a relaxing day.

I was definitely spoiled this year.. I got some things that I wanted, along with some gifts that were a surprise to me and I loved them!  My husband knows what I like!

I look so cute in the mornings.  lol.  Opening my new stand-up mixer!
My husband checkin' out his new Iron Gym bar.

I also received a Coach wristlet purse, a few new kitchen items that I love, some jewelry, and a few other things.  Next week we'll have Christmas with my parents over skype!  Can't wait.. I really want to see my niece open her gifts.  :o)

What did everyone get for Christmas this year?  I love hearing what others got!

Red Velvet Cookies (the easy way)!


Because sometimes it's okay to do things the easy way!  Especially when you're pregnant, exhausted, and grumpy... but still want to bake something.  ;o)  And when my cousin showed me this recipe, I had to make them because I love red velvet.  And I just couldn't get these cookies out of my head.  Then when I made a quick trip to the store to grab a few things, I passed some summer sausage and sweet & hot mustard.  After seeing that, that's all I wanted and could have cared less about the cookies.  Pregnancy brain = easily distracted.  But I knew I would regret it if I didn't make these cookies.. so, here they are.

Red Velvet Cookies
recipe from here
  • 1 pouch of Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened 
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • 1 egg
  • Betty Crocker cream cheese frosting (or you can make your own.. even better.  I'm lazy.  I did not.)
  • Your topping of choice (chopped nuts, sprinkles, etc)

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, stir cookie mix, cocoa, butter, sour cream, food coloring, and egg until soft dough forms.  It is a very sticky dough, and I ended up using my hands to mix it.  It will get messy... and you may or may not get your hands tinted red.  If you want to use gloved to protect your hands, you can.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  The dough does not spread, so I actually formed my cookies into the shape that I wanted them... flattened them out a bit.

The recipe says to bake 8-9 minutes, but I baked mine for 6 minutes and they were perfect.  Let them cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to let them cool completely before frosting.  After frosted, store tightly covered at room temperature.

Before baking... I pressed them into the shape I wanted them.
I made some with green frosting, too.. but my husband inhaled them before I could take a picture!
MMM... the husband approved!

I think they turned out well and were very delicious.  I had about 3 of them and then I let my husband take the rest to work so  the guys could have at'em.. and they ate them all!  So happy they liked them.  :)

Now.. what to make next?  Hmm.. guess you'll just have to wait and see.  :o)  Love Christmas baking!

I'm full of Christmas spirit!


We had a really great Thanksgiving at a friends house here in Korea.  Met some new people, ate some yummy food, and just relaxed!  Although I wish my husband and I could have spent the day with our family back in the states, we still enjoyed our day and were able to Skype with our families later on that night.  And I just have to say, thank GOD for Skype!

And now.. my favorite.. putting out the Christmas decorations!  I absolutely love everything about this season.  We put up our tree, wrapped some presents, put up the rest of the Christmas decor, set out all the Christmas-y smell good candles, and hung pictures and curtains (we are still getting settled after getting all of our things shipped over here... it's getting there!).  Right now I'm downloading a bunch of Christmas movies:  Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Carol, Elf, Christmas with the Kranks, Santa Clause 1-3, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, etc.  I can't decide which one I want to watch tonight!

Just a few things I love about Christmas time..

Snow!  So beautiful.

Hot chocolate... HOMEMADE hot chocolate.  And I make the best! ;)
Because the holidays give you a good excuse to wear more shimmery makeup than you normally would!
Christmas BAKING.  I have a lot of goodies that I want to make.. can't wait to share them with you!
PEACH PIE.  Not really Christmas-y... but I have one in the oven right now and it smells SO good.  Can't wait to have a piece with a huge scoop of vanilla bean ice cream!!

We've got some exciting news!


We're pregnant!

We knew for about 3 weeks before we started telling our friends (which was the hardest thing to keep quiet.. ever) because we wanted to have an ultrasound before we started telling people.  Just to make sure everything was a-okay.  We had an ultrasound at 8w1d and the tech said everything looked perfectly normal.  We saw our little baby in there moving around and the flicker of the heartbeat.  She said it looked strong.  It was truly one of the most amazing things I've ever seen.  I cannot wait until we get to see our baby again!  Our next appointment is in about 2 weeks, and I'll be 11w3d.

Our little nugget at 8w1d.  Even though it's pretty blurry, it's definitely the most beautiful thing I've ever seen!  We're praying that the rest of the 1st trimester (as well as the rest of the pregnancy) goes smoothly.

Right now I'm 9w1d and want to barf every 15 minutes.  I mean, some days are better than others.. but the bad days are really bad.  I swear it lasts all day long.  The things that absolutely do not agree with me include:  anything with red sauce (spaghetti, lasagna, etc), bananas, the smell of the dishwasher, strawberry yogurt (not the best coming back up), meat, eggs, milk.  I'm sure there's more and the list grows every day.  I'm ready for this part to be over with now.  And I'm sure my husband is too.  :)

Chocolate Pudding Cake


Because when you want something chocolately, there's nothing better than Chocolate Pudding Cake.  It's like one big heaping pile of chocolate.  Mmmmm...

Chocolate Pudding Cake
slightly adapted from allrecipes.com

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2/3 cup brown sugar (that's what the recipe called for.. I used a little less than that)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups hot water

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Stir together the flour, white sugar, 1/4 cup of cocoa, baking powder, and salt.  Add milk and oil; mix well.  Pour into an ungreased 8x8 square pan.  Sprinkle brown sugar, remaining (1/4 cup) cocoa, and chocolate chips over the mixture.  Add the vanilla to the 1 1/4 cups hot water, then pour the water over the top.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the surface appears dry.  Serve warm with a spoon.  Goes good with a big glass of ice cold milk or even a scoop of vanilla ice cream!!  Roughly serves 4 people (depending on your serving size... uhh.. my husband and I almost ate the whole thing in one night...)...

Blueberry Muffins for a Sick Hubby {recipe}


Yesterday was a very lazy day here in our household!  My Husband was a bit under the weather and came home from his Doctor appointment with an insane amount of medication.  Poor Guy.  So I decided to make some homemade blueberry muffins to cheer him up.  An afternoon of warm blueberry muffins, Tosh.0, Army Wives (yes, he is a trooper), and naps.  Those days are nice every once in a while.. and Husband is feeling a bit better today.  I think it was the muffins.  ;)

Blueberry Muffins
taken from Smitten Kitchen

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (I used sour cream)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, no need to defrost)

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners or spray muffin tin with nonstick spray.

Beat butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy.  Add egg and beat well, then sour cream (or yogurt).  Stir flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a separate bowl.  Pour half of dry ingredients over batter.  Mix until combined.  Pour remaining dry ingredients into batter and mix just until the flour disappears.  Gently fold in your blueberries.  The dough will be fairly thick, closer to a cookie dough, which is why an ice cream scoop is a great tool to fill your muffin cups.  You’re looking for them to be about 3/4 full, nothing more.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until tops are golden.  Cool on a wire rack, if you can wait that long (we couldn't!).  They are yummy straight out of the oven with a little butter!

New Discovery!


Actually, I should probably say... a rediscovery!  I have previously owned a John Mark McMillan CD, but I seemed to have lost it a while back.  I don't even remember the last time I saw it.  So I had kind of forgotten that he existed.  But I have rediscovered him (thanks to my Husband)!  And now I can't stop listening to him - so thank you, Hubby!  :)

I'm sure a lot of you have heard this song because it's covered by just about everyone.  This song is just amazing to me.  He has so much great music.  If you haven't heard of him, I highly recommend checking him out!!

Busy, Busy... and Crochet Projects

We have so much to look forward to in the coming months!  Lots to keep busy with.  On November 20th, we are going on a trip to the DMZ, which I've been itching to do since I've been here.  On top of Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up... and oh, the Christmas shopping!  I love Christmas shopping.  Also, my sister-in-law is due soon with her baby - I'm hoping it's a boy!  Husband and I have 3 beautiful nieces, so I'm ready to pick out some cute baby boy clothes.  In the meantime, I've picked out a few crochet projects to experiment with --

A teddy bear, a bunny blankie, and a stacking toy.  I'm really excited to try them! I'm hoping they turn out.  :)

We have a few other things coming up that we're really excited about, and we'll share that with everyone very soon!  Until then... I have to get back to watching Tosh.0 with my Husband.  This show makes me LOL.

Present to Me!


Bought the cutest boots in the world today at the BX.... thanks to my dear Husband!  :)

Madden Girl Women's Zoiiee Boot

I have been wanting a pair of riding-style boots so bad.  Something comfortable... a flat, casual boot... and something warm for winter.  These are PERFECT and I love them.  These are definitely the best pair of boots I own.  Skinny jeans/leggings, riding boot, thick sweater/a great coat, and a classic purse = the best look for fall, IMO.  Can't wait to wear them!

Thanks, babe!!  :)

It's such a Happy Monday!


Our unaccompanied baggage shipment came this morning.  It was like Christmas came early this year!  I spent all day washing all the kitchenware, putting it away, washing blankets, bath towels, and kitchen towels, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping... I am wiped out!

I'm so excited to finally have some of our things here (the rest should be here in a couple weeks).  I'm excited to finally have our Food Network Cookware and our casserole dishes and bakeware.  Although my husband would probably argue that our TV was the best thing that came in this shipment.

I was also excited to get these...

I got these cookbooks from my Grandma.. and I also have her recipe box.  The cookbooks are so old - I love it!  I can't wait to look through them all.  They're fun and different.. 'vintage' you could say.. and they'll always remind me of my Grandma.  And I can't wait to start hanging things on the walls and decorating this place!  It's finally starting to feel like a home.  :)

So my inspiration for today?

1.  Cooking...

2.  Kitchens...

3.  Pumpkins...

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I was in the mood for something with pumpkin - it's one of my favorite things about this season!!  I found this recipe here and immediately had to make them.  I've made pumpkin cupcakes before, but I thought I'd try a recipe that was a little different.  This one is perfect!

Pumpkin Cupcakes
from Tracey's Culinary Adventures 
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temp.
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups cake flour  (tip:  if you only have all-purpose flour on hand, you can substitute 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour for 1 cup cake flour)
  •  2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla (tip:  if you don't have buttermilk, mix 1/2 cup regular  milk with 1 1/2 tablespoons of white vinegar and let it sit for about 10 minutes)
  • 1 1/4 cups canned solid-packed pumpkin
Preheat oven to 350 F and line cupcake pans with 18 liners.

Beat butter and both sugars with a mixer on medium until fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt into a separate medium bowl.

One at a time, add the eggs to the butter/sugar bowl and mix.  Alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour.  Lastly, add the pumpkin and beat until smooth.

Fill cupcake liners until about 3/4 full.  Bake cupcakes about 25 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean).  Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
from Martha Stewart
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp.
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temp.
  • 4 cups (1 lb.), confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Reduce speed to low and add sugar, 1 cup at a time, and then vanilla extract.  Mix until smooth.

Refrigerate until needed (can be made up to 3 days in advance).  When ready to use, bring to room temperature and beat until smooth.  Makes about 4 cups.

I have some leftover pumpkin from these that I had to throw in the freezer... now I just need to figure out what else to make with it!

9.25.10.. we finally had our Wedding..


It was absolutely perfect in every way.  All of our amazing friends and family (with the exception of a few.. who were missed terribly) were there to celebrate with us.  After already being married for almost a year and a half, I was afraid that it would be weird to have a wedding.  Ok, maybe not weird.. just not the same as it would have been.  But it wasn't that at all.  It was almost as if we were getting married for the first time.  I definitely think that writing our own vows was a good choice for us, even though it felt like it took me a good 10 minutes to get everything out so people could understand me without my crying.  We are so blessed to have such loving family and friends who really helped us out with everything and for all the support.  Planning a wedding from Korea isn't easy.. well, it's actually almost impossible.  My mom worked so hard to get decorations and everything together - and it was all so beautiful!  Thanks to my mom and dad for everything they've done for us... I would have been a hot mess if it wasn't for their help.  And Alicia for helping with everything.. and Josh for singing during our ceremony (he sang the song perfectly and we loved it!) and to Lynn for doing the scripture reading for us.  Thanks to Matt and Heather for being so awesome and helping us out with folding programs and taking care of the reception hall.  Jessica and Laurie for their awesome camera skills - they took A TON of pictures for us and I love them all!  I cannot wait to get the video from the ceremony and the photos from the ceremony back.  I am so impatient!  ;o)

 Mani & Pedi with my Momma... a pretty pink!
Getting my makeup done.  I absolutely loved it.

 Our wedding cake & reception hall.  I must say, I chose some beautiful colors. ;)
 I hand-stamped the place cards, and they were held with wine corks.  And the toasting glasses we used were given to my parents at their wedding!  They are gorgeous!

 Gift table/Guest book table.. my mom's wonderful creativity!
The bottle has a note in it that my Husband used when he proposed & the pictures are from the proposal.
Also the pen from my mom and dad's wedding.. LOL.

 Flowers... they were more beautiful than I pictured them to be!!
Bride's bouquet on the left, bridesmaid bouquet on the right.

Our invitations I made (before folding it).  On the back is one of our favorite verses and the one we chose for our scripture reading, Song of Solomon 8:6-7
And our thank you message inside.

Bride & Groom.  <3

 The front of the hotel where we had our reception.

The Lobby of the hotel.

And lastly.. one of my favorite pictures.  Me and my daddy.  :)

Everything was perfect.  From the songs we chose for the ceremony, to the food and decor.. and the necklace I wore, which I just adore!  Everything was better than I imagined it to be.  Now I can finally start to get some frames and hang our wedding pictures up... can't wait!