Southwest Stuffed Peppers

Do you like Stuffed Peppers? and a little bit of a Mexican flavor? If so, you will LOVE this recipe!

I found it one day because I needed a really *easy* recipe and this is just that! But it has so much flavor and really is delicious that I thought I would share it with you!! It has a great kick to it and my hubby and I could eat it every week. We love stuffed peppers and mexican food so it is the best of both worlds. Another perk is if you are only cooking for 2, this makes a TON of leftovers (depending on how many peppers you decide to make) and you can use the extra mix to put in tortilla shells!

Here you go...

Southwest Stuffed Peppers


-8 medium green peppers (I usually only cook 2 or 3 big peppers because I am just cooking for 2 and this gives us a bunch of leftovers. All peppers are great with this so feel free to mix up the colors!)
-1 pound lean ground beef (I use 90% lean)
-1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
-1-1/2 cups water
-1 envelope (5.4 ounces) Mexican-style rice and pasta mix
-2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blend (optional)


-Cut off tops of peppers and remove seeds. In a dutch oven (a tall saucepan on the stove works too), cook peppers in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water; set aside.

-In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add the diced tomatoes, water, and pasta mix. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

-Make an appetizer and eat during this time :) (Billy loves queso dip so we usually have that with some baked Tostitos!)

-Place 1/3 cup rice mixture in each pepper; sprinkle each with cheese. Top with remaining rice mixture. Place in a greased 13x9 baking dish. Cover and bake at 375° for 25 minutes (mine are usually done around 20 minutes). Sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake 5 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted and peppers are tender.




not your normal Black Friday experience.

Hello beautiful bloggers! I'm so excited that I actually have 20 followers now..hip hip hooorayyy! I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving break. The long weekend was so needed for me and I am feeling super refreshed back at work today - I am sure all the sleeping and eating I did contributes to that! :) We had the best holiday weekend and got a lot done around the house!!

Let me first start out by sharing our not-so-normal Black Friday experience. Let's just say we are officially NOT FANS OF BLACK FRIDAY!!!! I am still laughing about it.

Picture it...Thanksgiving night after we consumed so many calories we had to work twice as hard to think clearly. Billy and I finally narrowed down our choice for a TV after researching what stores had the best deals. We decided we would get up at 3:30 in hopes to make it to the Target around the corner from our house by 4:00. That was a success. Billy and I woke up energized and ready to plow some serious Black Friday shoppers out of our way if need be to get this dang TV. Afterall, it was a 40" LCD for a mere $299.99! STEAL we thought! So..what happens next..we pull in the parking lot to see no available parking spots and a line about a 1/2 mile long wrapped around the side of Target and all the way to the back!! What..in..the..? Are these people serious? It was FREEZING outside! Ok..Billy and I still thought we stood a chance at getting this tv. True black friday virgins. We finally get in the store and race back to the Electronics department and see no evidence of the TV we wanted. Umm..are we blind? Then we spot a man with the TV in his red cart and I run up to him and ask him where he found it. His response? "Do you have a voucher?" Me: "What voucher?" Stranger man: "You can't get the TV without a voucher...they started passing them out since last Tuesday but are sold out now" Me totally clueless walking away: "oh ok..thanks" YOU HAD TO HAVE A VOUCHER TO GET THE TV? Screw that we thought! In the 5 minutes we were in Target at 4am, we couldn't wait to get out. We laughed the entire time about how CLUELESS we were....we called ourselves the true black friday virgins. We joked about buying a pack of gum and running out of target yelling "WE GOT THE BEST DEAL ON THIS PACK OF GUM!!!!" just so that we wouldn't leave empty handed. ha great idea Billy.

ANYWAY...we then proceeded to go across the street and try our luck at HHGregg. We hoped they too wouldn't have those so called "vouchers". We were in luck.. we found a TV that was a really good deal and quickly got in line. But what did we do? After standing in line for 30 minutes...We talked ourselves out of buying it!!! While we were in the line that seemed never-fricken-ending, we decided to bail. ditch the line. leave the store.

Our final conclusion was...we are NOT impulse buyers!!!! We hated it. We will not be doing it again. Yes, we are only talking $400.00 and less here and it's not like we can't afford it, but we just wanted to wait to find a TV we knew for SURE that we liked and wanted AND we didn't have to waste our precious beauty sleep to buy. It is very precious you know.

We went back to bed feeling like we had completely conquered Black Friday (in our own type of way)...afterall, we spent $0. :)

Yep, so that was that. Thanksgiving was wonderful. I loved not having to travel anywhere and just to spend quality time at our house with Billy. We had the best time putting up our new Christmas decorations (thank you TJ Maxx for never letting me down) and our tree. We tailgated Saturday for the OSU vs. Michigan game and of course, we WON again. This is the 7th straight win for Ohio State against Michigan. No other explanation is needed here :) Billy's brother, girlfriend, cousin, and our other cousin's boyfriend came in town for it and stayed at our house. We had so much fun...I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. We also celebrated my Dad's birthday. I got him George W. Bush's (big fan!) new book, Decision Points, and a gift card. He is a hard man to shop for but he liked them, I think! :) I'm really rambling right now so I'll spare you my words and show you our holiday weekend in pictures instead....

 Thanksgiving Day
My Uncle Dennis, my parents, Me, and Billy

Picked up these Martha Stewart monogram ornaments for our tree

Our first Christmas together as Mr. and Mrs ornament
our tree! :)

Rocky hanging out next to the tree

our little tree on our front porch!

cute snowmen on our steps!

OSU vs. Michigan gameday 2010~ Me and the hubby!


Friends tailgaiting at Varsity Club

Looking forward to CHRISTMAS in just a couple weeks!! Hope you all had an enjoyable thanksgiving!





What I'm Loving Wedsnesday: Thanksgiving Edition!

Hi lovelies! I decided for WILW this week I am going to relate most things that *I'm loving* to this wonderful holiday! There are some other randoms too :) 

I'm loving...that thanksgiving is tomorrow! Food is on my mind! I can already taste all the calories I am about to consume. I can't wait to be with all my family this year since last year was spent with Billy's side of the family. I will miss them though!

I'm loving...that I am in charge of baking the graham cracker roll for our family. This recipe has been passed down from my great grandma and I hope I don't disappoint everyone seeings how I have never made this in my life. Good luck to me..or maybe the joke will be on me?!

I'm loving...that this is our first thanksgiving as Mr. & Mrs! Cheers to being a married couple!  

I'm loving...me and Billy's "special" plans for the day after thanksgiving ~ the one and only BLACK FRIDAY. I'm not going to lie, as much as I love shopping...I cannot stand crowds, long lines filled with people who are 97.5% of the time irritable and lacking sleep, and feeling RUSHED to find that perfect gift that is on sale. I'd rather pay the extra money just to skip the lines, crowded parking lots, traffic, etc. That being said, Billy and I ARE going to take a risk and head out early but just for one thing. We want a nice flatscreen TV (and wall mount) for our bedroom. The sales on HDTV's are too good to pass up. I hope this won't be too difficult since we already did our research and know what we want ::crossing fingers:: I may look for a laptop as well but if and only if it's not a madhouse. Our "special" plans after are this: putting up our christmas lights outside, christmas decorations inside, and our TREE! So fun!

I'm loving...sweet potato casserole, stuffing, cheesy potatoes, pecan pie...etc. sooo not healthy, but a girl deserves a break during the holidays! Who's with me?! did I mention food is on my mind?...

I'm loving...our tradition that every year when we put up our christmas tree (which we will do this Friday!) we have my mom's Lasagna recipe for dinner. It means a lot to me to bake something that she loved and Billy love love love loves it! Maybe we will watch Elf or Home Alone too (my faves) :)

I'm loving...that it's BEAT MICHIGAN WEEK! What does this mean you ask? It means that Ohio State plays Michigan this Saturday for our last season game. It is our biggest rivalry and is often known as "The Game"!! Here in Ohio the whole week is dedicated to "hating" on Michigan. It is tradition that the students at Ohio State jump in a freezing, cold lake at night to celebrate and thousands of them do it! With that being said, it is always the best game to tailgate and fans look forward to this game every year.

Osu vs. Michigan 2009

I'm loving...the smell of Yankee Candles! always the best to get you in the holiday spirit!

I'm loving...it's my Dad's birthday Saturday. I don't know what I would do without him.

I'm loving...waking up everyday to my puppy snuggled up in between us under the covers. He loves to be warm and has to be laying literally right on top of us or on my pillow. melts my heart.

I'm loving...that I have so many things to be thankful for! Life is good! :)

Link up with Jamie and tell me what you are loving on this special holiday week!!

A special *happy birthday* this week to Billy's brother Kevin, one of my best guy friends Jim, and the best DAD there is! Love you all!




If you can't tell from the title of this post...I HAD SUCH A WONDERFUL WEEKEND!!! I am so excited to share with you all and hope that you too had a fabulous weekend!! Side note...it is going to be 70 degrees here in Ohio today!

Marissa's birthday celebration Friday was a hit...everyone had a great time. There were about 15 of us that went to dinner and let's just say I had a lot of VINO {pinot grigio was my choice for the night} before leaving our table...whoops! :)

Saturday, I got lunch with a girlfriend and then cheered my Buckeyes on to a HUGE win against Iowa. GO BUCKS!!! If you didn't catch the game, Iowa was winning the majority of the game and my beloved Buckeyes came back for the win within the final minutes of the game. It was a great game to watch!

Billy and I had date night after and went to PF. Changs for dinner..soo yummy...it is one of our favorites! I then proceeded to drag him to see Harry Potter..Deathly Hallows part. 1. Well, that's what I thought I was doing at the time. Turns out he liked it and was just as much as interested to see it as I was. HA. Don't you love when guys "pretend" like they aren't interested in what you watch but deep down you can tell they secretly do like it? Men.  Anyways, LOVED the movie! It was so good! Did anyone else see it this weekend?!

Finally...to Sunday...best day by far. I decided to get Mara a little leopard print velour outfit {what 6 year old wouldn't want this?} and a super, awesome Barbie watch for her birthday. Needless to say, she loved them and I felt like the coolest aunt, ever. Which I am...obviously.

Everyone knew Mara had so much fun by her level of excitement the entire time (bouncing off the walls...through the roof...etc.) and her Barbie cake was just the icing on the cake...literally. I really enjoyed spending time with my other nieces and nephews too that I hadn't seen in a while... aka the quintuplets.

You see, my stepbrother and his wife have quintuplets (yes, 5 kids-10 years old) and they also have a little baby girl that is 1!! They are so so so cute.

Love them.

Oh and our thanksgiving feast we had... yum yum yum! Thanksgiving is the best. There are not many  zero foods that I will pass up during Thanksgiving... but I'd have to say my favorite dish is Sweet Potato Casserole! What is your favorite thing to eat for Thanksgiving?!

I had 2 hours after stuffing my face all night to regain my composure for my late night soccer game. I was starting to wonder if I'd have to leave the field in the middle of the game to hurl in the bathroom. So on the way to the game in the car Billy pumped me up by giving me a big speech and we rocked out to some serious pump-up songs the whole way there. This was a big game...the 2 teams I play for were playing eachother!!! I decided to play on my 2nd team (aka with Billy's work friends) and play against all of my best friends. What a fabulous idea that was. We were talkin' crap to eachother before the game even started ~ all in good fun of course :) I gave my team a pep talk before the game telling them we HAD to beat them, slaughter them, kill them..you get the point. and....drum roll please....WE DID!!!!!

We won and I HAD 1 GOAL AND 1 ASSIST! I was ECSTATIC (and I know my mom was looking down on me just as excited for me-she loved watching me play!) Well, minus the fact that my best friend of 10 years got hit in the face with the ball by a guy on my team and now has a swollen right side of her face. She took it like a champ and even played the rest of the game! That's my girl!

Back to my goal, not only did I score on one of my good guy friends... I scored by so ever precisely kicking the ball in between his legs and into the net. GOOO MEEEEE!!! You better believe I WILL be sending him a daily text all week long reminding him about this ;-) 

I went to bed smiling ear to ear...and I may or may not have not taken like an hour to fall asleep because I was too busy replaying the goal in my head. Oh and I called my parents and woke them up to let them know the news. Great daughter I am, hehe. It's the simple things in life...

 A perfect ending to an already fabulous weekend! Here are some pictures from the weekend!

The birthday girl and Me

Me and Billy (don't mind the red eyes...didn't have time to fix it!)

The quintuplet girls with Mara & Lia

Happy Birthday Mara! 

*playing with Lia*

Billy playing football with Brady

Me, Emma, my stepmom Judy, and Lia

Look at that face! Do you think she loved her cake?!

Billy & Lia



weekend fun!

Happy (almost) weekend everyone! 

Before I get too excited and talk about my weekend plans, I wanted to do a recap on some of my favorite shows/things that happened in the news this week!

(a true quote to live by... I actually have a cute sign in my kitchen that says this!! I love it!)

Does anyone watch Top Chef?! I just love this show! Lately, I've been hooked on Top Chef Just DESSERTS! The finale was this week and I feel like everytime I watch this show I want to A. jump into the tv and eat everything they are making and B. it inspires me to continue to try new recipes in general! They make baking look good. I was pleasantly surprised (not really though, I usually can predict these things pretty well ;) when my favorite chef *Yigit* WON the finale!! He is the one on the far right. He was always so positive, fun, and creative! If you didn't catch this season, make sure you tune in for next season! If anything, you can dream about heavenly desserts for an hour :)

(the final 3 contestants)

I haven't watched Private Practive yet (thank you tivo!) due to the fact that I was just too busy lusting over the wardrobes, shoes, and houses of the women on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills at that time.

Like I said in my previous post about this season, I am addicted. This week the women go to NYC for the premiere of Camille's husband (aka Kelsey Grammer) play. The drama, girl talk, and wonderful outfits made for a great episode. I don't know about anybody else, but it was extremely strange (and I actually felt bad for Camille even though I think she is weird) to watch Camille and Kelsey together since now the entire world knows while he was in NYC he was having an affair! I bet she is mortified watching these episodes. Lastly...honestly..how much botox have these women had?! Could we even count on 2 hands? I doubt it. They are all still beautiful though! If you watched this episode, I'd love to hear your thoughts! :)

Moving along to this sad news...

I don't have much to say on this topic besides this:

 Dear Tony Parker,

Congratulations! You are now offically an IDIOT! Sexting another female when you have had one of the hottest women in the world as your wife? BAD MOVE! I never thought you were good enough for her, anyways (even if you guys were suuuper cute together). Good luck being in the spotlight now..I will forever dislike you for this.



*I am soo excited for this weekend!! It is going to be full of birthday celebrations and an early Thanksgiving dinner! 

 Happy Birthday to my one of my besties, Marissa!! I love you lady! Tonight a big group of us are going out to dinner at Buca di Beppo downtown to celebrate and then heading out after.. it should be a great time!

*Marissa and Me*

On Sunday, it is my niece Mara's 6th birthday party and our family (my stepmoms side) are having a big thanksgiving dinner together! Woo~hoo!

Let the food COMA's begin.

Me, Billy, and Mara

Mara and my Rocky

Sunday night I will only have 1 soccer game instead of 2 because my 2 teams play...EACHOTHER! I can't wait, it should be a lot of fun and either way I get to come out with a W-I-N!

What are your weekend plans?!




need a good laugh?

So I'm a little busy today but I couldn't help myself to do a quick post and hopefully make you laugh a bit!! Both of these videos made me literally laugh.out.loud so hard that I just had to share (I don't mean to make fun..but just think they are too funny!) :)

Here with go with Video #1 (in honor of the final Harry Potter movie release at midnight): Please meet the "Worlds Biggest Harry Potter Fan" 

LOL! Amaaaazing, right?! My favorite parts being when he shows his different outfits (3 months worth~that he doesn't have to wear more than twice each!)and his tattoos! Oh man...this is so great. I have read all the Harry Potter books and loved them but will not be standing outside tonight to wait in line to see it. I'm hoping sometime this weekend I'll be able to drag Billy to it :)

Video #2: I CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF THIS KID!! So cute! Please watch for yourself...you won't regret it! DJ's got us fallin in love again...

Well, that's all I've got for ya today folks... Be happy, tomorrow is FRIDAY!!!



What I'm Loving Wednesday.

Happy Wednesday everyone! Here is what I'm *loving* today...

I'm loving my new running playlist on my iPod... my favorites are "Like a G6"~Far East Movement, "What's My Name"~Rihanna ft. Drake, and "Right Above It"~Lil' Wayne. Tell me someone else thinks these are FAB work out songs?! :)

I'm loving the Tastefully Simple Beer Bread I made last night for Billy. I think most guy will eat anything with the word beer in it! Go to their website if you have never heard of it...

I'm loving that the hubby and I are starting to plan our vacations for next year..they are our favorite!!

I'm loving that CLOGS are making a comeback... anyone else?! ;)

I'm loving that I have 2 birthdays to celebrate this weekend! One of my best friend's, Marissa, is turning 25 and my mini-me, Mara, is turning 6! Yikes! I don't want her to grow up :(

Emily, Angela, Marissa (the bday girl), and Me

I'm loving that I made this blog! I really enjoy reading all the other cute blogs of girls that I follow too :)

I'm loving these eco-friendly tumblers from Bed, Bath, and Beyond! I take them to work everyday!
Copco® Eco-First Sierra Tumbler - Pink

Copco® Travel Mug - Hot Beverage To Go Cup, BPA Free

I'm loving this look...winter shorts paired with tights.

great winter shorts for a date on Rhianna

grey winter shorts with good boots

Lastly...as usual, I'm loving this beautiful, beautiful man.

 {oh wait..that's not Billy..I don't know HOW that happened!!?}

Link up with Jamie and tell us what you're lovin'!!




What are you thankful for?

To get in the spirit of Thanksgiving (without eating the 5,796 calories) I decided I'm going to write what I am thankful for recently. I am so happy lately and feeling really content with my life. I am very thankful for that since the last couple months have been rough with my aunt passing away and I wasn't quite "myself". WELL..I'M BACK!!!! I'm back to my normal workouts and love that feeling. I'm back to eating healthy again...oops, I got sidetracked a bit. I'm involved in sports (thanks to my 2 amazing soccer teams) and look forward to playing every week. I'm back to being focused at work...and much more. It feels GREAT :) Have you ever been in a "rut" and had a hard time shaking it? Sometimes all it takes is time.

OK, back to what I'm thankful for. This year has been such a blessing and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Where to start? I'm thankful for the house Billy and I own that is just "right" for us..that thanks to our parents we were able to have our dream wedding with zero debt..our honeymoon that I will never forget..our dog Rocky who greets us everyday when we get home from work..our jobs..not having a car payment (this is one of the perks of being an only child and a daddy's girl :))..growing closer with my uncle and some of my aunts friends that I had the pleasure of meeting..our HEALTH..our Keurig and all of our other amazing wedding gifts ;)..for a gym that I love going to every week..my husband, family, and best friends..the heater under my desk at work (a must have for the winter).. but as of right now one relationship really sticks out to me that I'm thankful for.... my beautiful cousin, Natasha. I haven't always had her as a cousin in my life. In fact, it's only been 2 years since we've known that we are cousins (THAT STORY to come at a later date..trust me, you won't want to miss it!).

Do you have someone in your life that is just your person? Someone that is just like you but at the same time a little different..someone that can finish your sentences..someone that you are so thankful for that you would do anything for them? Well, Natasha is my person. I know for a fact that people that don't know us probably think we are lesbians or something {I promise you, we aren't - just family}. Meet the DIVA herself...

She's gorgeous, right?! Yeah, it's almost sickening how pretty, funny, smart she is. But that's okay because I am her much wiser, older cousin (by 9 days maybe but who really counts anyways?) who she had to have gotten some of these qualities from..oh wait..this is just what I tell myself. No one can understand our relationship besides us. We are SO close that she is really like a sister to me than my cousin. I couldn't be more thankful to have her in my life.

Ever since Natasha and I found out 2 years ago that we are first cousins we have been inseparable- from living in the same city, working out daily together at our gym after work, to spending our weekends together. This all changed when Natasha moved to Denver, CO at the end of this past summer to live with her boyfriend. To say I was in denial about this is not an exaggeration.

Um..wait..please tell me your kidding. Hellooo...COLUMBUS, OHIO to DENVER, COLORADO?!?! Not exactly 10 minutes away..nor a short road trip away..but one hell of a expensive flight away!! What the heck would I do? I had finally found someone that was so similar to me..shared the same emotions I did about almost every topic..and of course she was my family now. Yeah..yeah..I begged. pleaded. begged some more for her to stay, but I know it was the right thing for her to do and I am happy for her. She stayed here in Ohio until after my wedding so she was a huge part of all my planning and of course there for all my bachelorette parties which meant everything to me.

I could go on and on and on about how much I love her but the reason why I am feeling most thankful for her right now is this: the simple fact of how close we still are even though we are thousands of miles away. When she first moved, I was so scared we wouldn't be as close as we had been and I wouldn't get to talk to her as much. But nope...we still talk daily and we still can read eachother's minds. Yesterday as I'm emailing her a short email I got a message that popped up saying I had an email from her...and what was her email about you ask?! The exact same thing I was emailing her about. And this wasn't just a general topic that it would be normal that this happened..but something so out of the blue that I was shocked but yet laughing at the same time that it had happened. THAT silly little coincidence made me feel happy that even though we are so far away, we are still best friends and she's still my person...

I haven't seen her since my wedding at the end of August and miss her so much but can't wait to visit her in Denver this upcoming year (maybe a surprise visit? who knows :)) Here are some pictures of me and Natasha together & a funny little quote she said about our email incident!

"We are so totally telepatheically connected in a creep-o way!!" - Nat (we're a little strange, I know)

the day before my wedding we both showed up at the nail salon matching from head to toe...NOT planned!

What are you thankful for?! I want to hear it!!