Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hey Blog, It's me Jenn

Hey Blog, It's me Jenn. I feel like it's been forever since I have seen you. This week has been a little on the busy side.  Everyone at work has been sick so that has left us short-handed and since everyone else in Shawnee including Channing {my rooomate} has been sick, the pharmacy has been a popular hang out all week! Luckily for now I have remained flu-free.

Since I decided to name my blog - "Will Cook for Shoes" and you've seen the cook part I decided I should show off my shoe love as well! I spent a good portion of this afternoon cleaning and organizing my closet. I think it looks pretty good!

But since I have been so stinkin' busy I will catch you up on my life: 
Last Saturday I got to dress up and go to the Red Cross Fundraiser. What girl doesn't love dressing fancy and taking pictures! 
I have a great best friend who will go as my date to work events! Thanks Presto!
After a great night at Van's with my PCDC girls I came away with a great long list of books to read one of them being Unplanned by Abby Johnson. The conversation that spun off that book has sparked a great idea that I hope to be sharing with you all soon.  Read the first chapter here. If you like what you read - please join me and many other Oklahoman's at Rose Day at the State Capitol on February 9th! Abby will be speaking there. Support Oklahoma's unborn babies!
Alright, that's enough for tonight. All that organizing wore me out. 

Stay warm this week it's gonna be a cold one!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

A few weeks ago I went to an adorable cupcake boutique in Oklahoma City called Pinkitzel. They had these wonderful chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing. I knew that with a little "googling" I would be able to find a similar icing recipe and just as I thought - I did.

I think they tasted wonderful but you can try them yourself:
Confession: I cheated and just made a box chocolate cake for the actual cupcakes.
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter; room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
4 teaspoons whipping cream (optional)

So go and make them for your valentine ;)

Friday, January 21, 2011

"When Hairy met Style-y"

Channing recently introduced me to an adorable blog by another wonderful former OBU-er Leslie Poe - learn about her life at Walking in Memphis. I never actually knew her but I have heard from her close friends still in Shawnee that she is a great gal and so I feel like I missed out! 

One of her recent blog posts was a tutorial on how to style your hair like hers. So last night Channing and I decided to try it. I say I did but I must confess that Channing actually fixed my hair. I think it turned out pretty cute. I even wore it that way today! I wanted to have Chan re-do it but it was 5am so I figured she wasn't really going to up for that! Thank goodness  TRESemme Dry Shampoo and the wonders it does for second day hair!
These pictures really aren't post worthy but we had to have a photo op even if we were in sweats(and hand me down/stolen Hollister shirts from your brother!)
If you want to try the "Leslie Poe" look - follow her tutorial here -How to Do the 'Do.
Well I am going to get off here. I have big "Jersey Shore" Friday night plans - GTL baby, or should I say GTTL Gym, Taco Truck, Laundry.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

and the winner is..............and a bit more

I am sure you all have been anxiously awaiting - 

Congratulations Audri! I will get this into the mail to you soon!

I will say I felt shocked, but also blessed to know how many people have checked out my blog since I've started it (even if it is just for the giveaway) Either way. Thanks for stopping by!

Over the course of the last 6 months I have been going through Leadership Shawnee. This was such an amazing opportunity for me. I lived in Shawnee for 4 years going to OBU and I had to admit that I didn't know that much about the city of Shawnee. I have learned SO much about Shawnee since June. Leadership Shawnee allowed me the opportunity to not only meet so many wonderful people but also opened my eyes to different aspects of this great community. 

Each class must pick a project that will better the community. After many discussions and brainstorming meetings we picked Food 4 Kids, a program through the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. We learned that 1 in 5 Oklahoma students are chronically hungry. Oklahoma isn't a third world country. That statistic was/is heartbreaking. Food 4 Kids provides chronically hungry children, identified by school personnel, with backpacks filled with non-perishable, kid-friendly food to eat on weekends and school holidays. 
We challenged our 28 class members to raise $200 (which happens to be the cost of 1 backpack for 1 kid for 1 school year!) which would have given us a total of $5,600. We received word shortly after we began our campaign that Chesapeake was matching all monetary donations through December 31. Within a weeks time we were able to raise - $8,012 dollars.  
We kept raising money throughout January and our total ended up being over $11,000 raised. With the Chesapeake match we were able to make a $19,000 impact on the Food 4 Kids program in Pot.  County. It almost brings tears to my eyes. This is going to feed so many kids in Shawnee.  This project has kinda been my "baby" and I am so pleased with the results of our fundraising. 

With Leadership I also had the opportunity to tour the Oklahoma State Capitol. We were taking a tour and I easily got lost in my own world and started taking pictures of things. The tour guide was great but sometimes my own world is just more interesting.

This is the ceiling in the supreme court room. I think it is the most beautiful and detailed design. 

Yes, this is in the capitol. If anyone knows the story behind it - Let me know. I am sure that tour guide told us but I  was too busy taking pictures.

This picture isn't really anything special but to me I couldn't help but think of puppets..actually Mr. Roger's neighborhood puppet's.  (when they come out of the castle)

Sorry, I rambled a lot. I need to get off here and finish cooking dinner and Channing is wanting to watch Toddlers and Tiaras and I can't object to that.

Stay warm!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Heart Stuff

I loved my Christmas wreath. I love how festive it was and I hated taking it down!. Once I took all my Christmas decorations down I realized our front door just looked sad. I can't recall the last time I actually used the front door but I still think it needs a little decoration!

I searched high and low for Valentine-themed wreath ideas and I found the perfect one so I decided to share a little tutorial with all of you! It is a little bit consuming. Put on a good movie and get started!

 Step One: I found a heart-shaped foam wreath at Hobby Lobby for around $3 then I bought around 20 sheets of red felt at 4 for $1. I also picked up some straight pins and a tiny spool of ribbon. 
Step Two: I used a cup to make a 3-inch circle on paper and then used it as a stencil. Then I began cutting little red circles. This would be the time consuming part. 
Step Three: Then I took a circle and folded it in half to make a half circle and folded it in half again. 
 Step Four: Then take a straight pin and pin it through the bottom of the point. Then stick the pin with the felt into the styrofoam. 
  Step Five: Continue doing this placing each folded circle close together filling in the spaces. Continue the process for the whole wreath.
 And TA DA!

If you like this wreath and want to get a hold of one yourself without having to cut out a bazillion little red felt circles you are in LUCK! Leave a comment on either my blog or my Facebook and you will be entered to win a wreath just like this one! 

I am pretty sure your odds are good - so start commenting! The giveaway will close Tuesday at 5pm. 

Disclaimer:  Jennifer Southland aka Kirt Henderson is disqualified from winning this wreath. Being a real person is the only pre-requisite. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

First off, don't judge me. It is January 14th and my Christmas tree was up until about 20 minutes ago. 

Before you murmur about me in disdain, it's not because I have been to lazy to take it down(maybe just a little), it really had more to do with the fact I just hate how the house looks emptier after all the "Christmas" is gone. I also know that once I start to put up the Christmas stuff and re-arrange/re-organize. I begin to go...a little far.  
Yep, I moved all the furniture out and re-arranged my furniture just to change it back again.
While un-decorating and re-arranging I started to think how different our houses look at Christmas time and also how different people act our Christmas. Just yesterday I overheard a conversation of a lady explaining how December is a great time to hit people up for money because their hearts are right. 

Then - it struck me. How sad is it that Christmas is something that comes for only one month out of the year? I love the decorations and no, I am not saying they should stay up all year long. But why do we only have the "spirit of Christmas" for one month? 
Why is it that we only feel the need to help the homeless and less fortunate during the month of December? And as the lady said--why are our "hearts right" only at Christmas time? To me that just doesn't seem right. Just something to think about it.

So this is my challenge to myself and to you as well - This year let's celebrate Christmas all year long ;) 

But as or my decorations---I will see you after Thanksgiving!

And for my living room - well for now you will do!

I hope you all enjoy the new layout and design. I am still trying to get things figured out with these whole "blogging" thing. Let me know what you think! 
Well, I should probably get to sleep. I have big plans for tomorrow and I just might be planning to share some of them with you! Until then -

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bakin' up adventures

Almond Chicken & Strawberry-Balsamic Sauce Recipe
Last night I made this wonderful chicken. It is so good and I will definitely be making it again. It was so easy just had a fancy name ;)

·         1/2 cup bread crumbs
·         1/3 cup unblanched almonds, coarsely ground
·         1/2 teaspoon salt
·         1/4 teaspoon pepper
·         4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
·         Butter-flavored cooking spray
·         3 teaspoons canola oil, divided
·         1/4 cup chopped shallots
·         1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
·         1/3 cup strawberry preserves
·         3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
·         1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
 1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the bread crumbs, almonds, salt and pepper. Add chicken one piece at a time, and shake to coat.
2. In a large nonstick skillet coated with butter-flavored spray, cook chicken in 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Remove and keep warm.
3. In the same pan, cook shallots in remaining oil until tender. Stir in the broth, preserves, vinegar, and rosemary. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 5-6 minutes or until thickened

Confession - I found this wonderful recipe on Taste of Home. (Thanks mom for the magazine subscription!) 

I served this with garlic mashed potatoes, salad, green beans and crescent rolls. We finished off dinner with a chocolate chip cookie sundae. 

If you think it sounds good - you just come on over for dinner sometime. ;) 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

taking a day off

Today I do not feel like messing with uploading pictures and blogging. Work has been enough time on the computer for me, so instead I am going to send you over to a blog I follow regularly. This lovely lady is a blogging super star. 

Check out Ashley's Blog - she is so creative and well just an interesting person with beautiful kiddos!  If you don't already follow her blog, you will after this.

I thought her idea for the "best of my days" notepad was so creative not only because it was adorable, but how awesome will it be to go back and look each week, month, year at the "best" of days - even if they are simple as a cup of coffee with a friend.

At the suggestion of my beautiful cousin Melissa, I am going to start sharing more recipes on here. I made a delicious dinner tonight so I will post that tomorrow!
So stay tuned for that.......

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Nifty Thrifty!

I love getting up on a Saturday morning to go "junk-storing." If you haven't gotten lost in a junkstore before, you are missing out something wonderful. Of course, if you are more into buying things brand new - I guess you aren't missing much. I LOVE the idea of taking something that someone else thought was worn out and "junky" and turning into something better and "new" again. 

This past Saturday I went and visited Green's which is located on Main Street of Shawnee. Talk about a place you can literally get lost in. If you haven't visited this place (even if you don't like junk stores) then you are in for a treat! You have to look high and low to find things. There are things everywhere and the building goes on forever. It is like Mary Poppins purse!

I have found wonderful things at this junk store. I found our coffee table there for just $20 bucks and there wasn't a scratch on it. I also found some marvelous shutters that are now hanging on my dining room wall and always receive compliments--for just $2. 
I get so excited about finding a bargain - in any store. But a store like Green's will never leave my wallet disappointed! Here are my finds from this past Saturday.

These are the before pictures. I have to take Christmas stuff down before I start projects for the after. But don't worry - there will definitely be pictures of the post-project items!


I have an idea for the 3 picture frames above but the mirror I couldn't NOT get - I don't have a purpose for it yet but I'm sure I will eventually find something. 

Isn't it beautiful!! 

While I was on "before" items I thought I would add to other items that are special to me!
While home for Christmas I had fun going through my Meme's old things with my aunts and cousins. I am sure they thought I was a nut for wanting these things but in my crazy head I saw something wonderful out of old items that otherwise would have ended up in a Salvation Army donation box.

So here are some my Meme's things I hope to re-purpose and jazz up a bit:

Stay Tuned for what I have planned for these little items :) 

I also took some funny pictures while at Green's I hope you enjoy them too!
Green's has these crazy mannequins throughout. You will be walking around and think its a person but --well it's not! 

Channing has the "world" in her hands ;) 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

It's all about the W

Previously when I mentioned my competitive drive I had no idea this blog would come so soon. Last night, I played board games with people that don't know me so well and I think I may have frightened them with my competitiveness. Normally when playing with my close circle of friends - we are all cut throat. I don't think everyone knew exactly how to handle our competition. A simple board game easily becomes something as big the Super Bowl. No one wants to walk away as the loser. Channing put it nicely "It's all about the 'W' for us." 

I do love board games. I also love that no matter what our night is planned to be - we always end up up back at our house. Last night was one of those nights. We had a lot of friends who ended up at our house for a game night. 

LISTEN UP LOCALS: Before our game night began we had a great dinner at the Taco Truck on MacArthur (if you haven't tried it - I suggest the chicken torta!) We also went and spend some time at Shawnee's newest coffee shop - Sip's Downtown Cafe. It's a beautiful venue. Go check it out but take cash. They aren't set up for cards yet!

I really wish I had a picture of Hannah's face when I went competitive crazy on her. Sorry Hannah! But instead enjoy this picture of her trying to steal the spotlight at Sip's!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

From Couch to 5K

Hebrews 12:1-2
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

In the last few weeks I have found a new love. A love that actually still surprises me on a daily basis. I have NEVER been a runner. When I was younger and we had to run laps I would cringe. I think the reason I did not learn to appreciate running until the last few months was because I didn't full grasp the beauty of it.

When I run I can just have time to myself. I find myself losing track of time, laps, and even where I am as just relax and run around the track. I think another one of my favorite parts of running on the track is having a "bird's eye view" of the rest of the gym. I would have "creeped" a picture of that view too but I just felt weird taking pictures at the gym. I just enjoy watching people as they play basketball or play soccer. There is always something to watch. I also when I get to see my church friends at the track, which almost never fails. Seeing them is always a delight.  But that blessing will be a subject of another blog! 

One of my big goals for 2011 is to run my first 5k. I also hope to run a relay in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. I would have never thought I would be doing this last year. Again, remember my past hatred for running. I am so excited about this adventure. Sadly, I feel like I'm jumping on the band wagon. Because, I'm only running a 5k because everyone else is doing it! But I am so glad to be a part of "Team 5k" and am looking forward to spending Channing's birthday running this race together! So thanks to my friends who decided to run this 5k. I'm glad by copying you I have found a new love and what's better than loving something that's also exercise!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

PCDC: Pottawatomie County Dinner Club

Some may think that living in the same town that you once went to college in would be weird. That would probably be an accurate depiction. The last 6 months have been a complete transitional time in my life. I have tried to meet new people and find people outside of OBU which has helped me learn to love Shawnee in a whole new way! I have been so blessed with my church family and work family. I feel like I've ventured outside the walls of Bison Hill and found a wonderful community of people.

When I first considered staying in Shawnee, a few lovely ladies mentioned it would mean I could be a part of dinner club. Little did I know that such a simple thing would often be the highlights of my week. I don't mean that in a way my life is so lame a simple dinner is the only thing I have to look forward to. Dinner club is so much more than just DINNER. Dinner club has been a way for me to meet new people and develop relationships with creative, hilarious, and just down right wonderful women.

Chan and I were SO excited when we had the opportunity to host our dinner club! We worked hard getting our house ready for the “big event.” We had the Wednesday right before Christmas so we decided what better way to celebrate than with TACKY Christmas sweaters! We sent out these beautiful invitations with this picture on it:

I love to cook and also loving playing the part of hostess. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to think of an impressive recipe to cook for all of the PCDC’ers. Most of them have gone above and beyond to wow us at their dinners so I had to compete. (I’m sure there will later be a blog on my competitive drive. It’s a large part of my life so there’s no doubt it will appear again here somewhere.)

This terrible picture of me at Kara’s “Potato-watomie Spud-tacular!” See the creativity I have to compete with!

For our dinner club, I decided to cook breaded mesquite pork tenderloin and “mom’s kind of potatoes” which are a family recipe and anyone who has enjoyed my mom’s cooking probably knows EXACTLY what I’m talking about. My favorite part of the dinner was the dessert. I made a chocolate cake with marshmallow crème filling. I think it was a hit.

I will post the recipe for the cake later. I know you all want a piece right about now!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

5 Year Plans

5 years ago I remember thinking "Wow, this is the year I graduate high school!" Of course at that time I thought that was the greatest achievement a person could ever have. I also thought I knew everything about everything. College proved that theory wrong. 5 years ago I wasn't thinking about the future. My big plans were prom, pageants, show choir competitions and what'd I wear to school the next day!    

Had someone asked me in January 2006, "What is your 5-year plan?" I'm sure I would have thought I would have struck it big in the pageant world and become the next Miss America. Realistically, I also would have answered that I would be in pharmacy school. I know I for sure wouldn't have answered that I would be living in Shawnee still. That was definitely not in my "5-year plan." I also wouldn't have said that I would have graduated with a business degree. The biggest surprise over the last 5 years would be the little firecracker of a sister that I was blessed with. Talk about something I wouldn't have guessed in 2006. Isn't life funny? 

I have since graduated from college. Realizing there is much more to life than high school and in fact there is a great big world that needs to be explored. (I know, I haven't gotten very far.) Since college graduation I've been asked "Jennifer, what is your 5-year plan?"Often I want to answer, Gosh I don't know. Decisions aren't easy for me! It took me 20 minutes just to decide on which socks to wear!" I never have a good answer to that question. So I'm facing that question now. This year, the first year into my next "5 year plan" is to not dwell on tomorrow but focus on today. Living each day to the fullest and working on "having faith" that God knows each step before I take them and trusting Him with my future. Because despite how good of a planner you are (which I think I am) you can't out plan God. Looking back on my last 5 years I truly realize that. My plans were so different but I would not have it any other way. So here's to the next 5 years, I mean here's to TODAY.

A look over the last 5 years -

 This picture is kinda blurry - but keep scrolling down and you'll see why I decided to keep it on here!

 You can't see this very well but I loved intramural sports and got hit in the face with softball. This is the only picture that is still around to reflect that awesome shiner.