Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Homemade Spaghetti "Sweet Sauce" Recipe

The secret to delicious Italian meals is a good sauce.  
A good sauce is made great after it sits in the fridge for a few days.
The secret to my great sauce is brown sugar.  :) 

Here's my Homemade Spaghetti "Sweet Sauce" recipe:

1 jar Franceso Rinaldi Spaghetti Sauce (because the jar is pretty & it's the cheapest brand at Wal-Mart!)
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 small can (6 oz) tomato paste
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp basil leaves
1/8 tsp oregano
1/2 tbsp ground black pepper

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large pot.
Cook on high until the sauce bubbles.
Reduce heat to low, slow cook for at least one hour.

It's delicious.  Inspired by the pizza we ate on our honeymoon.  Enjoy!  =)


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Part Twelve: The Dancing

[Part One] [Part Two] [Part Three] [Part Four] [Part Five] [Part Six] [Part Seven] [Part Eight] [Part Nine] [Part Ten] [Part Eleven]

We hired a DJ for the reception because Mr. Robinson and I wanted all different types of music played - everything from country love songs to big band music, and literally everything in between.  Our engagement was short, you know, so it would have been difficult to find a band capable of meeting all of our requirements, being in the area, having our date open (and it was the most popular day of the year to get married, I hear), and on short notice.  So...we hired a DJ and honestly, he sucked.  We created a do-not-play list for him, and he played several song off of it.  When my little flower girl went up and asked him to play a song, he told her he couldn't because it was on the do-not-play list.  Quite frustrating.  He was also awkward.  Anyway, let's dwell on the good stuff!  =)  The dancing!  Everyone had a good time, enjoyed the music, and twirled around on the dance floor!  Clearly, we aren't the most coordinated group and our reception was dry which means this is how we all REALLY dance.  ;)  Also, we broke the wedding rule that says the electric slide & the cha cha slide are out.  People love dancing to those songs!  It was only way to get people on the dance a lot of our pictures are of people leaning forward, haha!  (A quick side not:  I don't know how to do the electric slide.  But I wanted to dance.  So I just swooshed my dress around and faked it. =)  Champion!)  Enjoy! 

Mr & Grandmudder, Me & Grumps {Us Dancing with My Mom's Parents}

L-R:  His Parents, My Parents, Us
My Dress...His Chuck's 

Us & My Dad's Parents! =)

Dancing With the Girls...8th Grade Style =)
And somewhere between all the dancing, something hilarious happened.  First, let me tell you how uncoordinated and clumsy I am.  I have one dance resembles a chicken flapping it wings.  I drop everything.  I can hardly dance.  I am aware of this and so I don't really dance.  And when I say "I can't dance" I mean that I struggle even with the standard slow-dancing kids do in middle school.  Ok, so I can't dance.  You got it right?  Understand?  I.  Can't. &. Don't. Dance.  

The song "Brick House" comes on.

And I just start breaking it down.    
See his face?  This was a surprise to everyone.  Totally out of character!  Haha
And by breaking it down, I pop locked & dropped it the best I could, I put my hands up in the air, I rubbed my body against his to the music...I have no idea who I was in that moment!  Haha 

The chicken dance move.. 
After I ran out of really bad dance moves, I realized what I had done!  I was so incredibly embarrassed and hid my face, haha!  But my sweet & brand new husband made it all better and took over!  Did I mention that everyone thought this little dance was planned?!  It was not.  But my husband is a fantastic dancer and he saved the day! 
I make really awkward faces when I don't know what I'm doing...
Oh, and then I guess Mr. Perfect got bored with swirling me around, so he decided to back it up on me.  

Oh, we had so much fun at the reception!  (Even if the DJ wasn't what he had hoped for..)  

 So, we decided against serving a sit down mean and against serving any alcohol.  This meant that when our guests got bored or tired, they left.  A lot of Mr.'s family had a two hour trip (or longer) back home.  It was dark outside.  The dance floor was staying pretty open with the exception of us and the wedding party.  John, the wedding planner, pulled us aside to tell us that he was going to retire for the evening.  Since we had been awake for a really long time and had been busy all day long, we were tired.  I didn't have a watch or my cell phone handy.  The wedding planner was leaving, guests were starting to go home....I assumed it was late.  I asked my husband if he was ready to leave and he jumped at the opportunity to go ahead and get the honeymoon started if you know what I mean.  Little did we know, it was about 9 o'clock.  It was still early, haha.  The DJ called everyone to attention and asked them to go outside to send us off.  I started crying.  I mean, I started bawling my eyes out.  

It was over.

Our perfect day was over and it felt like it only took 5 seconds from start to finish.  I was sobbing.  Trying to hold it in.  Everyone was outside lighting their sparklers and our wedding planner was being all sentimental about how perfect everything had been... I was falling apart.  Haha.. who knows what my husband thought!  =)  

Come back next week for the final wedding post about our send off...

Coo Coo Kachoo, 
Mrs. Robinson

Friday, May 25, 2012

Where The Socks Hide

My husband is in a wedding on June 10th.  It's a beach wedding in Hilton Head.  The groomsmen are wearing white linen from head to toe.  His white linen ensemble came in the mail yesterday and he tried it on, making himself look rather gay.  {Maybe those outfits are cute on Pinterest, but some element must be lost in the transfer to real life..}  Anyway, he told me that his pants are see-through and asked me to order him some white boxers from Macy's because we had a gift card.

I was looking for boxers on Macy's when he asked me to check out their selection of dress socks, as well.  

I started commenting on the boxer models and how they couldn't be that..."endowed."  

Mr. Robinson exclaims "Why are looking at different guys' junk?!  I asked you to look for socks!"

I responded with, "I am looking for socks!  This is clearly where the socks are all hiding."  


You.  Are.  Welcome.  You see, I am funny in real life, too!  =)  Get it?  The socks are hiding on the boxer page...tell me you get it.  Somebody.  =)  TGIF!      


Thursday, May 24, 2012


I am very much so a "list" person.  You know the kind.  To-do lists, shopping lists, lists of places I've been, lists of songs to download, lists of meals for the month, lists of daily exercises to complete, lists of things to do at work, lists of people to talk to, lists of people I've already talked to, lists of blog post ideas, and the list goes on and on.  (Ha)   So when I see lists like "101 in 1001" and "30 under 30," something inside of me wants to make a giant to-do list for my life.  Or, you know, for the next few years.  

But it's so overwhelming!  There are so many things I want to many things I want to do with my new husband but they aren't really "unique" at all.  So I worry the list would seem dumb.  I think this is my favorite 101 in 1001 list I've seen because it's so thorough and diverse.  Would it be bad to just make a copy of her list?  Haha!  I would change a few things...but for the most part, her list covers the bases I want to round some day.  

Or maybe I could make some mini-lists.  Or lists by the year, going with a "365" theme.   Maybe lists for different seasons of my life?  I could do a Newlywed List, a list of the middle years, a list for retirement?   I've also heard of literal seasonal lists - a list for spring, summer, fall, & winter.  Wash, rinse, repeat.  Maybe.  When it comes to life lists, there are so many options.    

I want to spend some more time pondering this idea..coming up with something similar but also something just different enough to fit my life exactly right.  Like a favorite pair of jeans.  Or like a favorite pair of Spanx.  :)   It'd also be fun to make a list with my husband.  Maybe we could do a vlog about it?  Haha!  =)  On the other hand, there are some things I'd like to do that don't involve dying my hair a crazy color or getting something pierced to make me feel young again.  Not that I'm old...I'm 23.  I'm sure many of y'all just rolled your eyes at me.  And yes, I'm 23 but when I look at some of the things my "peers" are doing, I feel old.  I feel like as much as I love my life and my husband and my God, I've lost a part of the girl I was for 22 years.  I'm not crazy spontaneous anymore because I have responsibilities - I have a job I will probably stay at until I retire and I have people I am answerable to.  It's a wonderful life to have, but it means I don't just answer to myself anymore and it means I have to consider others before I act.  I didn't always do that, and it made life fascinating and interesting.  It also made for a quite sinful life and ultimately a lonely life, and I don't miss that part.  Nobody wants to grow old with a selfish person, you know?  I just don't want to lose my spontaneous and wild spirit.  If that makes any sense at all...  And maybe some long, crazy list would help me hold onto the FUN parts of who I am.  And drownd out the responsible voice in my head from time to time.  That makes me sound like I want to be irresponsible, and I don't.  {I'm rambling.  Sorry.}         

Maybe one day you'll see a tab up at the top indicating that I've made such a list.  I promise you one thing, though.  If there ever is a list, it'll be legend.....wait for it...


Mrs. Robinson's Chicken Salad

It's not officially summer time in the South until you've had a good chicken salad sandwich.  My mom makes the best (and ugliest) chicken salad in the world but it's mayonnaise based.  I'm still trying to eat healthier, even though it hasn't been doing much good lately, and made up my own little take on a healthier chicken salad recipe.  It turned out delicious.  Enjoy.  :) 

1 chicken breast
2 whole celery sticks
1/4 cup white onion
10 red grapes (that actually look purple)
1/4 cup low calorie sugar blend
1/4 cup dried mixed berries (cranberries, blueberries, cherries)
1/4 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, any brand

Cook the chicken breast by boiling it in water until it is white all the way through.   
Place the Greek yogurt into a covered container you want to keep the chicken salad in after it's finished.
After the chicken is fully cooked, cut it up into small pieces with a knife or blend with a food processor.  Place the chicken on top of the yogurt.  
Cut all of the remaining ingredients into small pieces.
Serve on a cracker, lettuce, or bread.   

Enjoy!  =)  


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mr. Robinson!

Today is my sweet hubby's 24th birthday.  I've tried my best to make his birthday super special this year... I didn't do very well in that department last year.  I tried - but failed!  

His 23rd Birthday
We were engaged, right?!  I gave him lingerie (for me) that he was to hold on to and bring along on our honeymoon.  I thought it was a cute idea.  He did not, haha!  He didn't understand why I bought him clothes for myself for his birthday.  He's convinced that lingerie is for the girls - "whatever, honey!"  The point is, as cute as I thought the idea was, the birthday boy didn't like it and reserves that right.  So, here we are, 2012. Take Two!

His parents were able to come the weekend before last to celebrate with their amazing son.  He's a wonderful man and regardless of our differences, I'm thankful for the job they did in raising him.  They gave him a WeedEater, which was much needed and appreciated.  I made "You Rock Cupcakes" out of my new favorite cookbook, 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know.  They were perfect & easy Vanilla Cupcakes!  While he parents were here, I gave him one present to add to the festivities.  Swimming trunks for our trip to Mexico this summer!  

In an effort to repair the damage I did last year, I planned a week long Birthday Feast for Mr. Robinson, featuring all of his favorite foods!  =)  To top it all off, he gets a present EACH day.  I'll share the week with you after it's over.  For now, I'll leave everyone with a birthday letter to my main squeeze.  :) 



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Part Eleven: The Cake

Our cake was one of the very first things we decided on.  I found a picture on The Knot very similar to this cake.  I love the taste of marshmallow fondant.  We wanted our wedding to have an Indian flair to it, and the piping on the cake was similar to henna.  Our color was orange.  It was perfect.  =)  

I didn't want our cake topper to be on top of our cake, so we set it off to the side.  Please notice the bride grabbing on her groom's butt.  =)  I adore our cake topper.  It's so us!  I'm always grabbing his chubby little tushy!  

We toasted with sweet tea, obviously.  =)  When we ordered our glasses, we opted to have words engraved on the side.  However, we surprised each other with what our glasses would say.

The first line on his glass said "Mr. Robinson" and the first line on my glass said "Mrs. Robinson."  
The surprise engraving on his glass read, "I have, I do, and I will."  The surprise engraving on my glass read, "Forever and After That."  =)  

It came time to cut the we did.  

He fed me a slice of cake, neatly, because I threatened to kill him if he messed up my perfect make up, hair, or dress.  =)  Honestly, I forgot all about the cake cutting until it was there was no plan.  

And then I did something mean.  I surely smooshed cake all over his face.  I have no idea why I did it, but I concentrated really hard on rubbing it in.

Apparently, I thought it was funny...

Except my brand new husband was mad.  And if I had thought my actions through before smooshing cake in his face, I would have known that he would have been mad.  So I kissed him to make it better.  


The kiss didn't really I licked some cake off his ear and made sure to get some on my face.  That makes us even right?  

And he forgave me....but please notice that the smile on his face is 100% fake.  He was not happy with his new bride.  Haha! 

And my bridesmaid, Brittany, made sure to repair the damage done to my wedding day make-up.  What a peach.  =)  

 And then everyone dug in!  :)  

Coo Coo Kachoo, 
Mrs. Robinson