First Apples of Autumn :)

Zach had to buy some apples for a project at work, which meant he got to bring them home when he was done.  :0  We were supposed to go to a welcoming fall party Saturday night, so I considered making something with the Galas then.  However, after seeing what everyone else was bringing, I decided to make baked beans...but we had to bail on the party because Zach and I weren't feeling too hot.  So we stayed home and had a dinner of the beans, potato salad, and leftover steak from our anniversary dinner.  And the apples continued to chill in the fruit bowl.

We've been eating loads of crap lately, so I'm trying to get more fruits and veg back into our diet.  Sunday, he and a coworker spent 14 hours editing a video--they were up until 3 a.m.!--so I wanted to make some quick and easy for dinner.  Lots of times, we end up having breakfast for Sunday dinner (brinner, if you will), so I decided to go with that.  I had come across an apple and cheddar frittata recipe when I was on Pinterest Saturday morning, and I thought it would be awesome with bacon, especially since I was trying to use up the last few strips.  And so the ABC Frittata was born!


2 apples (peeled, cored, and sliced)
3 strips of bacon, cooked (I used turkey--turkey, apples, and cheddar is soooo good!)
1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
8 eggs
2 egg whites
1 Tbsp. butter
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of nutmeg

-Heat oven to 450.  Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.
-Beat eggs and egg whites.  Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese and salt and pepper.  Crumble bacon into egg mixture and stir.  Add egg mixture to skillet.
-While the edges cook to set (3-4 minutes if using cast-iron skillet), layer apple slices around the top of the egg mixture and sprinkle the remaining cheese over all.  Then add pinch of nutmeg and more salt and pepper, if desired.
-Transfer skillet to oven and bake from 17 to 20 minutes until the center is set and frittata is turning golden brown.  Remove frittata from skillet and let rest on a platter or plate for five minutes before cutting.

This was my first time making a frittata, and it is definitely going to be in my rotation this fall and winter!

How are you marking the first days of autumn?

Also, if you are so inclined, my friend's cousin and his wife are trying to adopt.  If you haven't heard, adoption is very expensive.  They need about $20,000 more to bring a baby boy home this weekend.  I know that sounds kind of wild, but the mother wants to give her son to a couple who cannot have children at all, and they are currently the only ones that fit that bill with the agency the mother is using.  They only found out a few days ago that the mother will be induced in a week.  Since this morning, they have raised almost $8,000!  They have four more days to get the rest taken care of.  If you cannot support their efforts financially, please join us in praying for Baby O.

 photo b1ec0eef-a9ee-48d9-87d2-1285feb7aa0c_zpsd6f56ab6.jpg

Fourth/Fifth Anniversary

Thursday was our fourth wedding anniversary and marked five years since Zach and I met.  :)

We had to work, but I did let my students go a bit early, and Zach surprised me by taking me out to Orange Leaf when he picked me up.  I enjoyed the brownie and raspberry yogurt with raspberries and white chocolate chips--heaven.  :)

Friday night, we went to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse to celebrate. They sure do know how to make you feel special! When we arrived, they kept greeting us with "Happy anniversary!" and our table was sprinkled with red rose petals (which is why I took a picture of the bread on the bed of roses *lol*).

Our food was so yummy--although Zach said the steak wasn't quite as good as what he had at Morton's that time in Boston--and I am planning on making the copycat sweet potato casserole very soon because it is CRACK.

At the end of dinner, our server Cornelius brought us a complimentary slice of flourless chocolate cake with a candle and took our picture. (We're not really sure what they do with those pictures. Zach thinks there's a creeper in the back with them...) We had him take one on Zach's phone as well.

I told Zach this should become our annual tradition! And we laughed and laughed when the valet opened Zach's door when we were leaving because he didn't realize I was the one driving...  (Zach's been on meds for his back, which makes him too loopy to get behind the wheel.)

We had kind of a weird year presents-wise:  I put together a brew-your-own-root-beer basket, and Zach got me some new silverware and a creation called bed-bands that helps your sheets stay on because we've been battling it out over getting some new sheets.  (The ones I love have shrank a little, so now we can use them a bit longer.)  We liked each other's presents a lot, but they were just...weird.  *lol*  I have to say the bed bands work great!  I've got to wash up the new silverwear, so they can go into rotation.  And I can't wait to brew the root beer and some ginger ale.  Apparently, homemade is where it's at... :)

We’ve been through a lot over the last five years: lots of dates, lots of fun, lots of love; and grad school and graduation, unemployment and job searching, moving across the state to new jobs, and getting more responsibilities that comes with the multitude of blessings and burdens of working to help others make their lives better; and enjoying more Netflix and Hulu than I can measure, far too many yummy meals, and not very many yucky ones, too much candy, not enough travels, so many LEGO bricks, and two fluffy cats who make our home complete; and immeasurable laughter, some tears now and then, a near-death experience, and a hope for a future together, bounded by an increasing love, forever and ever, in all times, in all places, in all ways. Forever.

Or, if you would like something a tad less mushy, here we (The Royal We) are BY THE NUMBERS;
5 years since we met
4 wedding anniversaries
3 homes (Baridon, Hot Springs, and Bentonville)
2 furbabies
1 life together

 photo b1ec0eef-a9ee-48d9-87d2-1285feb7aa0c_zpsd6f56ab6.jpg

I'm DY(E)ING to tell you about my new shirt...

So a million five years ago, I picked up this light grey shirt at Target.  I LOVED it.  I bought it out of necessity because on one of my early days of grad school when I was still commuting from Benton to Conway, I spent the night at Katie's on a whim and didn't have any clean clothes to wear to school and work the next day.  So I went shopping before class and found this beauty:

It felt a bit hippie and a bit classic, and while the color was kind of a wash, I liked it because I didn't own too much grey.  And it was so comfy and carefree.

(This photo was taken after Zach and I created our first cake together:  Zach envisioned it, and I carried out the vision.  We've been doing that since 2008, folks.  :)

Fast forward a few years to when my beloved shirt somehow got some bleach stains on it.  :(
I tried bleaching all of the color out:

But all that did was make it a mottled peach-pink-grey color.  :*(
I kept trying to bleach it to one shade, but it never worked.  I had almost given up hope...

...until this TWENTY-FIVE CENTS clearance miracle came into my life!
For a long time--basically since I discovered New Dress a Day--I have wanted to try my hand at dyeing.  (Or is it dying?  I just never know; I only teach English.)  But I was so nervous to do it, and even though dye is cheap, I still didn't want to spend money and then have to spend more because I destroyed something else.  Until Zach and I swooped down the clearance aisle last week.  I thought this baby was a buck, so I was pleased as could be when it rang up for 25 cents.  I wanted to go back and buy a few more boxes!

Here is what I did:  I washed my shirt.  Then I dissolved the entire box of dye in water I heated on the stove.  (I used an old Cool Whip container so I could throw it away.)  I set the washer on the regular wash cycle at the hottest temp and let it fill up.  I added about 3/4 cup salt and a Tbsp. detergent while it was running.  When it came time for the agitation to start, I turned it off and poured in the dye.  Next, I rinsed my shirt in hot water in the skin, squeezed the water out, and uncrumpled it.  After adding it to the dye, I let it sit for 30 minutes, stirring it with a plastic knife every 10 or so minutes.  At the end of the 30 minutes, I turned the washer back on and let it run.  I rinsed my shirt in the sink after the washer cut off, and I dried it in the dryer.  During that time, I added detergent and bleach to clean the now speckled washer.  It came right off for the most part!

I've learned a bit about dyeing/dying now.  For example, you use salt if the material is a natural fiber, and you use vinegar if it's not.  And not all fabrics are created equal.  I also need to invest in some color remover, rather than using bleach because it weakens materials.

And now I have this lovely bluish-grey/purple blouse!  Since the temps have started to fall a bit, I decided to put on a scarf for the first time in months, and this one matched perfectly!  You can still notice where the bleach stains were, but the dye definitely improved the mottled look.  I love the shade--it's so unexpected!

 photo b1ec0eef-a9ee-48d9-87d2-1285feb7aa0c_zpsd6f56ab6.jpg

Friends and Food a.k.a. My Labor Day Weekend

Here we go again!  I'll try to get back on the blogging bandwagon this week, but don't hold your breath.  Here's how my weekend turned out:

  • left work 15 minutes late Friday afternoon because I was bidding my friend and coworker goodbye :(
  • got toasty on one glass of wine
  • ate way too much Indian at Taj (chicken korma, samosas, dosas, etc.)

  • enjoyed Ruby Sparks
  • did lots of laundry and enjoyed snuggly kitties

  • ate way too much Mexican-Eastern fusion at Table Mesa (guac, Cheap Dates, salad, fish tacos with black beans and rice, a chocolate chimichanga, and two West Coast Pimms Cups [OMG!]  My new favorite drink!)
  • watched The Spiritualist at Theatre Squared

  • recalled how it feels to walk everywhere
  • went grocery shopping with my husby
  • made some more Berries and Cream salad and cheesecake brownies

  • took a nap
  • discovered there's a Harps in Bella Vista (!!)

  • ate way too many finger foods at La Casa Haas
  • had fun at game night with the Haasies

  • wasted my Labor Day watching ten episodes of Pretty Little Liars, checking out the sale on Zulily and debating buying this, and uploading 530 photos to Snapfish only to decide the coupon I had wasn't go to work :(
  • showered, made the bed, organized the linens, brushed the kitties, made spaghetti, cleaned the kitchen, cleaned the bathrooms, and organized the coupons in about four hours
(Dinah, pre-brushing)

And that's a wrap!

 photo b1ec0eef-a9ee-48d9-87d2-1285feb7aa0c_zpsd6f56ab6.jpg