Friday, August 30, 2013

End of the Week Roundup

This week has kicked my ass. I started school, and between school, work and everything else I got so stressed I started getting knots in my neck. FUN. That's why I love doing these roundups, they really make me appreciate my week more.

1. I pulled a prank on my bestie Joe on Friday. He left his car unlocked so I sent him this picture along with the text "guess who left their car unlocked" and then proceeded to shove a Christina Aguleria CD into his player. 

Saturday we both had to work, and Joe learned his lesson and locked his door. So I left him this note on the back of one of my business cards:

2. Dave and I started a new thing over the weekend. Every night before we go to bed we each tell each other one thing we loved about the other during the day and one moment that we thought about each other during the day. It's nothing overly complicated, it's more like "I loved the way your hair looked today, it looked good" or "Take Me Home Tonight came on the radio and made me think of you". It's so simple but man does it make the day complete.

3. Jenni at Story of my Life is planning a blog everyday in September challenge, which I plan on taking her up on. I'll still be posting an end of the week roundup each week and some other non-prompted posts here and there but I'm really excited to try this challenge.

4. Dave and I started talking to each other like we were Bane from Batman the other day. If you aren't sure what I'm talking about, watch this video:

Yes, we did complete the whole picture by putting our hands in front of our faces. It was so funny, the stupid, ridiculous things we were saying to each other and it had us rolling. It's the little, silly things in life that help us through the week. 

5. Do you look forward to my Nibbler and Squishee end of the week pictures as much as I do? I spend most of the week when I'm home running around after them with my camera on trying to get a great picture for the week. I end up with about 150 blurry pictures of my cats moving and maybe one of them glaring at me for taking a ton of pictures. 
Nibbler posing....he's my little model when he actually let's me take pictures

Squish has no shame. None.

By the way, they both know "Kiss" now, which is freaking awesome. You pick them up and say "kiss, kiss" and they lean in and touch their little noses to your lips. Squishee will kiss anyone, the little harlot, but Nibbler saves his kisses for just me. I love my cats. It doesn't matter how long, stressful or crappy the week is, the moment I think of them, I always think "it doesn't matter, life is good because of them". 

That's all I got for this week, how was your week? 

As always, linking up with the awesome Lauren and Lauren!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Teeth are Tickling my Toes

I follow quite a few teaching blogs since becoming a teacher is something I aspire to be and I'd love to pick up some pointers along the way. Last week most of them posted that they probably would be slowing down in the blogosphere since school was going to be taking up a good bit of their time. I was thinking, "I got this, blogging is something that I'll have no issue keeping up on". Oh hey Nicole? See that thing you're standing on? It's called your foot. Go ahead and insert it into your mouth. 

I started classes Monday and man has it been killer. In fact, I was driving home Tuesday night (last night) and realizing I had no blog post and I was too exhausted to legitimately think of any. Then I started to write this one in my head on the way home and here it is!

Bam! Take THAT foot! 

Speaking of foot in mouth, I go to a Catholic university. In my six years enrolled there I have managed to avoid being taught by a nun. Call it a miracle, call it being savvy, call it being a wuss. I don't care what you call it, I was quite content with not taking any classes being taught by one. Don't get me wrong, I love the sisters! But in regards to them teaching me? They TERRIFY me, I have this idea in my head that they're going to be ten times stricter, meaner, and fail me because they figured out I'm a fraud, a non-Catholic going to a Catholic university. 

Well guess what? In my last semester, I'm down to my last three classes and my Tuesday night class is being taught by a nun. Go figure. It didn't start off too good either. I was sitting next to a girl who I've had classes with before and she was telling me her class schedule for this semester. Apparently the Sister began to speak and I didn't realize it and she stood next to me and said loudly, "I guess some have lost their way". 

CRAP! She knows! She KNOWS!!!!!!! Do they have radar? Should I have worn a crucifix? Then I realized it was because we were talking (der) and the blood drained from my face. How could I have already messed up with a nun and class hasn't even been in session 10 minutes?!? So, in my most innocent "Virgin Mary" sounding voice I said, "I'm sorry Sister". Then she started laughing. Like laughing so hard the Jesus on her necklace was shaking like he was laughing at me too and she said "Oh, she doesn't realize I'm kidding" because apparently I'm one of the few that had her. Then she got super serious again and proceeded to lecture for two hours. She's actually not too bad, she is funny but you can tell she is going to be tougher in regards to my education. Which is actually a good thing.

Hey foot? While you're in my mouth, why not just smash my voice box shut so we don't have any further issues, whaddaya say?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Woman Moves to North Pole with Cats, Redefines Term "Crazy Cat Lazy"

What a catching headline, huh? Some days I feel like doing that. Just dropping everything and taking Dave and the cats and moving to some other corner of the Earth. Start fresh, new and away from everyone. 

I felt like that the other day. Thinking, hey wouldn't it be great to get away from all these people who annoy me? Start in a new, uncluttered home? As the day progressed on, my tolerance for the day was wearing thin. Then my thoughts turned to, forget people, forget communication  I'm taking Nibbler and Squishee (and of course Dave) and moving to the North Pole.  Then I thought to myself (after going over the obvious reasons why that wouldn't be feasible), how funny would that be? 

I could just imagine it now, the media frenzy behind a crazy woman trying to head to the farthest reaches of the Earth just to get away from people, with only her cats in tow (because at this point, honestly, Dave would probably not be too keen on joining). That, my friends, would be the epitome of a crazy cat lady. My poor babies would probably have to be all bundled up, with no birds to watch obsessively from the window. 

Yeah, that would never work. I hate the cold and they don't really like snow. 

On a side note, am I the only person that thinks of headlines in their head? It might be because I was on newspaper in high school and headlines were a big deal, but I find myself doing that every now and then. Is this a weird thing? Haha, don't answer that I already know what you're going to say.

This concludes random, meaningless thought of the day. Have a good Monday! 


Friday, August 23, 2013

End of the Week Roundup

School starts back next week for me. It's my last semester before I get my bachelors degree. It's been five years in the making but I'm not looking forward to losing my free time at all (with school starting). 

Summer, where are you going? Why must you run from me? I just started to appreciate you! Why must you leave so soon!?!

Sorry. Lost my marbles there for a moment. I'm back. Here's the roundup for the week:

1. Saturday I had lunch with my mom, my Aunt Steph and my grandmom. It's been a while since I've seen my grandmom so it was nice catching up with her. After lunch Dave and I just drove around the countryside and enjoyed the nice weather. 

2. Saturday night we hung out with our neighbors again. It's really nice to have friends that you can literally walk across the street to hang out with. It also helps that they are awesome.

3. Hanging out with my younger siblings had to be the highlight of my week. Still laughing over our shared stories.

By the way, here is an oldie but a goody...I'm not going to explain what is going on in this picture because honestly we are all a little crazy and who knows what the heck we were doing. 

4. My friend made me two CDs this week but I think my favorite thing about them were the little messages he wrote on the CDs:

Why thank you Jerry, I will enjoy and I did rock on!

5. I love my cats, that's pretty evident isn't it? It helps that they are so awesome. Take for instance this week's picture:

I was trying to take pictures of Squishee, since Nibbler normally is not a fan of having his picture taken, but Thursday apparently Nibs felt that he needed to be front and center:

Notice Squish eyeballing the two of us. I don't think he appreciated his moment being taken away from him.

That's what I got for the roundup, how was your week? 

Linking up with Lauren and Glossy Blonde!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hello Old Friend(s)

Tuesday night I took my younger siblings out for dinner for their birthdays. Christopher turned 16 on the 12th and Renee and Ryan will be 25 on the 31st. It's been a while since we had all hung out so we were definitely due for some quality time together. 

I SWEAR the boys wanted to be there, cross my heart. L to R: Christopher, Renee, Ryan, Yours Truly
We spent the first part of the night catching up on life. Where we were all at with school, jobs, our futures. Then came the really fun part: reminiscing about our childhood growing up and sharing stories. 

Like the time we made Christopher think he really had magical powers like Harry Potter by stringing up the laundry basket and random objects with fishing line in his room (having bunk beds helped!). Yeah, I was a kick ass babysitter at times. 

Or the time I attempted to roller blade with Renee and my older sister Jess and failed miserably. My ankles went inward before I even got the first roll and I sat down on the stoop, said forget this and went and played with my skip-it.  

And when I would purposely run away from Christopher until he would yell "Stop it Nikki-cole!" I miss being called Nikki-cole. I think he got confused about my actual name when I was younger because everyone would call me Nikki except my dad and step mom who called me Nicole so he just mashed the two together. 

Or when we would play our Nintendo 64 and I would only play with Yoshi and wouldn't let anyone else play him. I always played the big sister card, you know, I was born first so I get first dibs. 

Hanging out reminded me that I don't spend enough time with my siblings and that I need to. And that if you really want a mood booster, taking a walk down memory lane with your family normally will do the trick. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Five Things

{five things I have a passion for}
1. Learning. At any age, you should always be learning. (I stole this from Alissa, its true though! You can never learn less)
2. My husband. He's my best friend, my rock, and makes me feel like I finally have a place in the world.
3. Reading. The escape that reading offers is priceless. 
4. Nibbler and Squishee. I'm crazy over these two. 
5. Finding peace. With myself, with life, with the world. 

Oooooooold photo

{five things I'd like to do before I die}
1. Legitimately learn how to play guitar, so I can actually use the gorgeous one I bought three years ago that is just sadly collecting dust.
2. Visit all 50 states with Dave.
3. Find my forever home. The home I'll raise children in, grow old with Dave in. My current house is nice, don't get me wrong, but it's not my forever home.
4. Raise smart, humble, sweet children.
5. Find peace. With myself, with life, with the world. 

{five books or magazines I've read lately}
1. Ready Player One. This left my fingers itching for days afterwards from book withdraw. It was so good.
2. Son. The final book in The Giver series. 
3. The Ocean at the End of the Lane. My first Neil Gaiman book, I think he may just be a new favorite author. 
4. The Messenger
5. Glamour

{five favorite movies}
1. Meet the Robinsons. Those sweet kids I mentioned raising? Yeah, I want a family like the Robinsons.
2. Big Fish. Gets me every time.
3. Up. I start crying before the movie even starts. 
4. Suckerpunch. I'm a sucker for that movie (see what I did there?) 
5. The Futurama episodes that were originally released as movies. It's one of my favorite shows, if you hadn't already figured with Nibbler's name.

As you can tell, we still have a ways to go!
{five places I'd love to travel to}
1. Back to Tennessee. I miss that place so much.
2. All 50 states
3. Canada
4. France/England/Ireland
5. Figi or Bora Bora (I should probably start saving for that now, so I can go when I'm 99)

I borrowed today's post from Alissa over at Graceless Lady

Friday, August 16, 2013

End of the Week Roundup

This was a great week! I normally struggle to find the fifth item on my list but this week, the roundup was complete before Thursday morning! Here are the highlights of my week:

1. My nephews stayed at Dave's parents house on Saturday, so we stopped by to see them. They wanted to show us how they could ride bikes, and I captured this moment between Dave and Lucas. 

It's amazing to see them grow up and what new things they've learned every time I see them. 

2. Saturday night's date night, which I talked about on Monday's post. Still smiling when I think about all the fun we had that night. 

3. Tuesday was rainy and dreary. It was just a gloomy day and I was craving grilled cheese and tomato soup, which I mentioned to Dave. About an hour into work I got a call from Dave to go down and check my car. When I went out to it, I saw he had left a can of tomato soup for me! I had the cafeteria at work make me a grilled cheese sandwich, so my craving was satisfied. I love my husband and the sweet things he does for me, it makes me appreciate him all the more. I truly am a lucky girl.

4. Tuesday was also Nibbler and Squishee's 3rd birthday! We celebrated by taking them outside for a little bit (the afternoon ended up clearing up the rain and bringing us a gorgeous sunny evening) and then treated them to a can of wet food.

It's weird to think I've only had them for 3 years. Honestly, it's hard to imagine I had a life without them. We all mesh so well, it feels like we been a family forever, and will be forever. If  pet soul mates exist, Nibs and Squish are mine. Here is a sweet picture of my babies when they were kittens:

5. Wednesday we went and saw "We're the Millers". It was a really funny movie, and we really enjoyed ourselves. If you don't mind adult humor, I highly recommend it. 

That's all for this week, have a good weekend! 

Linking up with Lauren!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August Mix Tape

I know it's only my second month creating a mix tape, but I absolutely love doing this. I spend the whole month finding songs that fit my mood, help me through moments or recall past memories and then I get to share them with you! These songs have been on constant rotation while I am at work. Hopefully you enjoy them as much as I do!

August 2013 Mixtape by Nicole Kadel on Grooveshark

Leave a comment, let me know if you had any favorites, or (hopefully not) any that you couldn't stand. I'd love to hear your opinion!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Saturday Night Date Night

This past Saturday night Dave and I went on an impromptu date night. You know, one of those "Did you pull anything out for dinner?" "No, you?" "Nope, let's have a date night!". 

Our evening began at a local restaurant/buffet. Dave and I live near Amish country, which means delicious comfort food. I love comfort food, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. We both chose the buffet and stuffed our faces. The special for the night was prime rib, which meant if I wasn't already on cloud nine for being on a date with my husband, that would have done the trick.

Duh? Haha
Then we headed to a local mini-golf course and played a round of mini-golf.

The place we went to had two separate courses that weaved in and out of a wooded area, all of which was beautifully landscaped. The course we were on had waterfalls everywhere (a video of which you can find on my Instagram), and it sounded heavenly. It was so nice and relaxing!
Walking to the 1st hole

As for the actual game play? I just whack the ball, because isn't that how everyone plays? 

As you can tell by the look on Dave's face, he was much more serious about the game. Which meant, of course, he won in a landslide victory. 

But that's okay, I had a great night and completed another item on the checklist! If you care enough to keep track, that means that I only have two things left to check off (drive in theater and taking pictures)!

Friday, August 9, 2013

End of the Week Roundup

I feel like I blinked and I missed summer. I know its not over yet, but there's only two more weeks before I head back to school. I think it helped that I've been busier this summer than I've ever been--in a good way. Here is the round up for the week:

1. Sunday I went tubing again, this time with Dave and our friends, Melissa and Dan.I avoided the whole sunburn problem that I had last time by spraying every inch of my body twice over and had a really great time. It was relaxing and we just chilled, floated and chatted. I would love to be able to do it at least one more time before the summer is over.

2. Tuesday night I met up with my friend Melissa who I haven't seen in at least 5 years. She and I met at my first "real job" when I was 18 and we stayed friends since. She moved down to Florida a few years ago so needless to say our reunion on Tuesday night was a much needed catch up. She is the epitome of a great friend. We don't talk often but when we do, it's like we never lost any time. I love her dearly. 

3. I decided to try the 30 squat challenge with my co-worker Sheena. It all started because I shared my fear of getting cubicle butt, which was becoming a quick reality, and then it turned into us being like "yeah we got this!". I'm on day two and cubicle butt is already feeling more appealing right now. I kid, I kid!

4. I went to a local farmers market this past week. I saw a picture they posted on their facebook page about spinach and feta bread. It looked heavenly. It looked like I needed to leave work early and get down there NOW for this bread. But the market opened at 3 and I only worked until 4. I figured I'd have plenty of time to get down there and get some bread. I mean I'd only be there about an hour and fifteen minutes after they started selling it, so I'd be good right? WRONG. Apparently I wasn't the only one enticed by this delicious looking bread. They did, however, have spinach and feta croissants, so I snagged one of those and tried my best to enjoy it without inhaling it. It was tough guys. 

5. This is what the start of most of my weekday mornings look like. Squish or Nibbler (in this case Squish) lying on my lap, not budging. This, folks, is why I give myself maybe 10 minutes to get out the door, which is why most days you can tell I'm phoning it in, looks-wise. But wouldn't you do the same? 

That's it for this week! Have a good weekend!

Linking up with Lauren!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

"Marry Me?" Ribs

I call these ribs the "Marry Me" Ribs because they are so good, whoever you make them for will fall in love with you. And the best part? They are incredibly simple to make. 

Dave always asks for these when a special occasion arises, like his birthday. When I make them I normally will share a few with my neighbors so that the next time I absentmindedly ignore their greetings on my way into my house, they'll still like me. Because I do that often, not because I don't like my neighbors. I just don't pay attention to my surroundings. At all. 

Anyway, here is what you need:
-1 onion (the kind doesn't matter, whatever you prefer, I use a sweet vidalia) 
- 1 pack of ribs, cut down to one to three ribs per section (to fit into the crockpot)
-1 bottle (16 oz or larger) barbecue sauce
- salt and pepper
-Crock pot
-Broiler Pan

Here is what you do:

1. Arrange the rib pieces on a broiler pan, salt and pepper on both sides and broil on high for 15 minutes, until they are slightly browned.
2. Slice up your onion and arrange it in the bottom of the crock pot
3. Place browned up rib sections into the crock pot and cover with barbecue sauce 
4. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Water Balloon Fight

At my dad's surprise 50th party, I finally got a chance to partake in a water balloon fight, which was on my summer bucket list. This was entirely made possible because of my mom, who not only bought the balloons needed for the fight but also let it happen at my dad's party.  

Let me tell you, these filling little balloons took forever. They were tiny so you couldn't attach it to a faucet or the hose outside. Pretty much just the pump it came with could fill them up. I tasked Dave with helping me and he tried to figure out a bunch of things to try to fill them faster but nothing worked out. Then he disappeared and I was a bit irked with him. All I had was this ridiculous little pump and a really nice kid helping me tie the balloons. I couldn't understand, Dave never just up and leaves a situation. He's my problem solver.

A hour and many murderous thoughts later Dave reappeared with 3 buckets full of balloons. I felt like a jerk, I should have known better, Dave would never leave me high and dry. Haha, get it, high and dry, in a water fight post? I'm sorry, that was corny. Please don't leave. 

Yes, out of six buckets, Dave filled three and I filled two and maybe a third. But he had a wet bar sink to work with and I had a pump and a nozzle. Once we were set to go, the fight was on. What took us an hour to fill up, lasted maybe a minute. 


Look at the balloon bursting on his shoulder, it's such an awesome shot!

Post fight
It was such a great time, I'm super grateful to my mom for orchestrating all of it and making it happen but next time? Someone else is filling up those darn balloons. 

Photos courtesy of Ali

Linking up with Funday Monday!

Friday, August 2, 2013

End of the Week Round Up

1. This week I checked off some items from my summer checklist. The first task completed was that I finished "The Ocean at the End of the Lane". It was definitely a book like no other. It's a short read, and I've heard many people refer to it as an adult fairy tale. If you are looking for a quick, engaging read, I highly recommend it. And for any of you checking, yes I did read at least half the book outside, so bonus for me! I've already started reading another book "Ready Player One". I've had this sudden rash of needing and wanting to read A LOT, which I'm totally loving right now.

2. Sunday nights we have a ritual. Our washer and dryer is in our basement so we have to carry our clothes up to the second floor where our bedroom is. Nibs and Squish take advantage of this every weekend and get a ride up to the bedroom on top of warm, washed clothes. I'm not sure how this tradition started but it's been this way since they were kittens. This past Sunday I decided to capture our weekly ritual on camera:

Nibs at the top, Squish is the bottom photo
Notice how Nibbler looks none to pleased to have his picture taken, while Squishee poses for the camera, this is how it always is. Nibbler hates having his picture taken, while Squish will do anything to get in front of the camera. 

3. Friday night Dave and I had dinner at our neighbor's house. It was a good time, so relaxing and fun. We enjoyed dinner out on their back deck and then went inside and played Dance Party 3 on their kinect...further proving I have no legit coordination. Plus, my neighbor made brownies for me, but purposely waited until we were ready to have dessert to bake them so they were warm. She served them with ice cream, if I didn't already love this chick, this well thought out dessert would have sealed the deal. 

4. Saturday my mom held a surprise 50th party for my stepdad, Brian. His birthday isn't until September, but she really wanted to make sure it was a surprise. A ton of people showed up. It was nice sitting back and looking around at all the faces, some familiar, some not, all there to celebrate my dad.

 He's such a good person and a great dad, he deserved it. While at the party, I finally got to use the balloons my mom got for the water balloon fight (check another off the list!). Stop by next week for the post regarding that, the pictures turned out great!

5. Wednesday night was a nice warm summer evening so Dave and I spent some time just chilling on our back deck. Of course, Nibs and Squish were having none of this "Mom and Papa outside, we're stuck inside" shtick so we brought them out and I captured this sweet moment between Nibbler and Dave:

Moments like this never get old. Ever. I could look at pictures of times like this over and over again and still feel like I was right there living the moment all over again. 

That's the roundup for the week. Enjoy your weekend! Linking up with Lauren!