[And welcome to my little blog.]

I'm Amanda! So happy you are here. Grab a glass of wine, read along, and let's be friends.

Quick and yummy dinner by Kevin

Sunday, November 28, 2010
Don't you love it when you stumble across a new recipe that's really easy and yummy?  Better yet, when your husband stumbles across the recipe and makes it for you while you sit your lazy butt in front of the TV :)

Here is Kevin's Tikka Marsala over Basmati Rice:

He sauteed up some chicken, big chunks of green peppers, and onions, added the can of Tikki sauce, and 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream (he actually added 3 tbs of butter, 1/4 cup of half and half, and some Greek yogurt since Hyvee was out of their organic heavy whipping cream).  Put the whole mixture over some basmati rice, and voila an easy and tasty Indian dish.  Sure, he could have made the Tikka Marshala sauce from scratch, but this sauce was so yummy and you could actually recognize and pronounce all the ingredients!  Do you guys have any easy dinners you'd recommend?

If you're a fan of True Blood...

Saturday, November 20, 2010
then you should definitely check out AMC's new series The Walking Dead.  Interesting story line, good acting, and some really creepy supernaturals.  The Walking Dead just aired this season and is about what happens to humanity in the aftermath of a zombie plague.

You can watch the first episode for free here, and download the other two episodes for $3 on iTunes.  Super excited for the fourth episode this Sunday.

Only downside I can see so far is that Kevin has taken to saying "I'm a zombie" in an incredibly creepy voice...

Nothing like that new CD feeling

Thursday, November 18, 2010
Is it just me or do you guys love getting new CD's?  I know iTunes is instant gratification, and sometimes I can't resist the temptation either, but in my opinion there's no better feeling than struggling to get that clear plastic wrapping off a new CD and popping it in a CD player. 

By the way, if you love getting new CD's every month, I'd recommend this website:  http://www.yourmusic.com/.  It's not that great when it comes to independent artists, but anything that's a little more mainstream they generally have.  For $6.99 per month they send you a CD of your choosing, which includes shipping and tax.  I forget about it almost every month so it feels like Christmas when I get my CD.

Kevin and I just saw Josh Ritter at the Slowdown with our new buddies Amy and Ross.  I used to be much more into the local music scene then I am now.  I hate to admit my interests have drifted all over the board lately (you know me... easily inspired means easily distracted.)

Going to this concert was a throw back to my college days, and I love my husband for being such a good sport.  Kevin isn't really the scene kid, concert going type, but he really enjoyed himself and we all had a lot of fun.  Here's a little sampling of Josh Ritter's music.  He's one of those rare artists which is way better live than he is on his CD, but my most favorite part was how throughout the the whole concert he looked like he was so happy and was getting a huge kick out of all of the people there to support him.  Gotta love a modest artist.

I love this first song... makes me think of a carousel ride.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Smoothie time

Wednesday, November 17, 2010
So I bought a new blender to make margaritas, and it turns out it has some other useful purposes... like making smoothies :)

I was inspired by one of my new cooking books, The Family Chef.  I've really enjoyed this book (thanks mom!).  The book is written by two sisters that work together as personal chefs in California for all sorts of famous people.  I think their writing about cooking in general and how it plays a role in their families is almost better than their recipes, although those are good too.

There are several recipes in this book for yummy smoothies, but one of their big themes of the book is being open to improvising if you don't have all the ingredients.  So, although most of their smoothie recipes included things like minced fresh ginger, coconut water, and milled flaxseed, I opted to use only the ingredients I had onhand. 

After making three successful smoothies with all sorts of ingredients, I'm convinced you really can't make a bad smoothie as long as you have have a small bag of frozen fruit, a couple globs (about 1.5 cups) of yogurt (I really liked the Horizon Organic Fat Free Vanilla), some water (you can start by adding 1/4 a cup and then add more later if your smoothie is too thick), and a little bit of sugar (or I prefer Agave Nectar in things like this). 

So there you have it, grab whatever ingredients you have onhand, throw it in a blender, and voila a wonderful breakfast or afternoon snack!

P.S. - Kevin liked the smoothies too.  The poor boy has learned to hide when the camera comes out, because who know when a picture is going to be deemed "blog worthy"  :)

Sleepover at Uncles and Manda's

Saturday, November 13, 2010
Once a month we have a sleepover with some of our favorite kids (Kevin's nieces and nephews and my little brother Jonah).  This month we had Presleigh and Ryder over and had lots of fun. 

Here's what we did:  Went on the roof to check out the view of downtown, chased each other around in the shopping carts in the basement of our condo building, ran up all six flights of stairs, played seven rounds of hide-and-go-seek, watched Toy Story 3 while eating popcorn and cookies, tucked the kids into bed in an air matress in our room, woke up at 6:00 a.m., got everyone dressed, made waffles, had a dance party, walked down to the slides in the Old Market, got some hot chocolate at the Omaha Visitors Center, feed the ducks at the ConAgra lake, talked to 911 when Ryder pressed the emergency button in the elevator (oops!), returned them safely to their parents, and then took a long nap :)  How do parents do this full time?  Lots of caffeine?

Couldn't resist taking lots of pictures and video.  They are just so darn cute! 

We were really happy with all of the fun things we found to do with the kids without having to drive anywhere.  We love living downtown because of all the activity down here, but weren't sure how much there'd be for kids.  You don't really think of downtown as very kid-friendly, but we found lots of fun stuff to do, and best of all most of it was free.  Maybe our future kids will be little condo dwellers?  :) 

Vintage shoes

Friday, November 12, 2010
Happy Friday everyone!  I have some more Etsy finds for you guys: vintage shoes!  I've never had anything against used clothing, but have always had my reservations when it comes to shoes.  These vintage shoes are so cute it could change my mind.  Click here to see all the shoes she has for sale.  Some of my favorites that happen to be my size...  Kevin are you reading?  Never too early to start Christmas shopping :)

size 7.5 taupe vegan nonleather round toe oxford pumps. 70s granny heels.

size 7.5 honey dijon leather low heeled pumps. 80s Copley Square. cut out details at ankle. mustard. yellow. made in Brazil.

size 7.5 toffee leather woven slice details feminine pumps. 80s Laces with stacked wood heels. made in Brazil.

Cute as a button

Thursday, November 11, 2010
Kevin's been hogging the computer lately working on stuff for his MBA classes.  "Babe, what's more important, homework or blogging?"  :)  I still managed to sneak in a little Etsy browsing.  I love these earrings for sale on Etsy by Babbling Brooks.  So fun and pretty.


DIY vase and Air Plants

Tuesday, November 9, 2010
The hotel I stayed at in Atlanta last week had some really creative ways of displaying fresh flowers.  I think making a vase like this would be a fun do-it-yourself project.  All you'd need is a big glass vase, some smaller vases, and some metal wire.  Wrap the metal wire around the neck of the little vases than string the metal wire over the top of the big vase and bend the wire into a few circles inside the vase to hold it into place. 

Or, insteady of putting water and fresh flowers in these vases, you could use air plants.  Have you guys heard of these nifty little plants?  I just discovered them a few weeks ago.  The best part about air plants is that they don't need any soil to survive (you just soak them in water once a week).  There are so many fun ways to display them:

I haven't seen these little plants around in any local stores, but you can easily buy them online.  To see all the air plants on sale at Etsy.com click here!  I like the idea of an air plant subscription - this seller is offering 3 air plants per month for 3 months for a grand total of $32.50 (including shipping). 

Urban Outfitters

Monday, November 8, 2010
Found some great stuff this weekend on the sales rack at Urban Outfitters.  A pair of jeans for Kevin, and for me a cute pair of boat shoes, white frilly vest, a super comfy sweatshirt, and a dress with stars on it that can also be worn as a shirt, for a grand total of less than $100.  I also saw some things I had previously paid full price for on the sales rack, don't you hate it when that happens?  From now on, I'm determined to be exclusively a sales rack shopper!

Muchos gracias to my new and wonderful in-laws for their generous birthday present of a gift card to Urban Outfitters.

CB2... i love you

Sunday, November 7, 2010
I couldn't believe my luck last weekend when I arrived at my hotel in Atlanta and right across the street was one of my favorite stores: CB2!  Owned by Crate and Barrel, it's sort of like an upscale (but still affordable) Ikea.  I've been an avid reader of their catalog for years and love checking out their stuff online, but had never had the opportunity to go the store... Omaha, NE is generally not the first place that the really trendy stores go.

So after work, I hurried my butt over to the store to check it out.  It did not disappoint.  Lots of cool ideas and beautiful accessories.

Of course I couldn't leave the store empty handed so I bought one of the most impractical things to take with me on the flight home... 8 new wine glasses!  Kevin and I love wine but have been drinking out of a bunch of old mismatched glasses.  I carried-on this box through 2 airports, and to my husbands surprise made it home with all 8 glasses intact.  Sheer determination :)

And, I just found out they have a blog, and it's a good one!  I especially like the "how to" section.  Isn't this a fun (and cheap!) idea for a Christmas tree? 

Happily married for six months

Friday, November 5, 2010
Kevin and I got married six months ago on a beautiful day in May.  Man, can it really be November already?  I know most of you have already seen the pictures, but I couldn't resist taking another look at them today.  Is it cheesy that I just get so happy when I think about this day? 

Before the wedding

The Ceremony

Our favorite kids

Friends and the Trolley

Our Wedding Party


More of Us



Thank you to The Moment It Clicks for our wonderful wedding photos!  

I created these collages using free software called Photoscape.  Check out the details here.

Fish and photography

Thursday, November 4, 2010
I just got back from Atlanta, Georgia tonight (of course my flight got delayed on the way home...darn you American Airlines!).  It was a work trip, but me and my new friend Kelly were able to sneak in 45 minutes of tourist time at one of Atlanta's tourist attractions... the world's largest aquarium!  Last week my dad lent me one his cameras he isn't using anymore (one of the first versions of the Canon Digital Rebel) so I've been playing around with it and trying to learn how to use it.  Here are some pictures I took at the aquarium:

I'm sort of proud of this picture I took of Kelly checking out the aquarium.  I have a ton to learn about photography, but every now and then even an amateur can get lucky. 

My favorite part of the aquarium was watching the Beluga whales.  They are so big, but so graceful.

Atlanta aquarium from Amanda Kohler on Vimeo.

The cup trick and Meiko

Wednesday, November 3, 2010
So I absolutely love this video.  These lovely ladies voices are amazing and the fact that they are doing the cup trick that I learned back when I was a camp cook during the summer of 2005 makes it even better!  I spent countless learning how to do this little trick :)

I found this video on one of my new favorite singer's blog.  Check out Meiko's blog here!
Here's the youtube version.

And just for fun, here's a couple flash back pictures from the summer of 2005.
Here's me and my snotty 18 year old face :)  Yes I wore bandanna's
almost every day and thought it was cool.

My fellow cook and friend's Kait and I. 
Yes, those are smashed eggs and panty hoes on our heads...

Speaking of Meiko (and her funny little blog), if you haven't checked out her music yet, here's a little playlist I put together to introduce you guys.  She's seriously great... like a Regina Spektor, Jewel, and Ingrid Michaelson mixed into one.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones


Monday, November 1, 2010
So my little brother was Woody for Halloween, and it was absolutely adorable.  I took lots of video and I will post that soon, but for now I'm on the road for business and don't have access to my wonderful Flip video camera, so he're a preview of what's to come...pictures compliments of the wonderful photograher Rick Nelson :)

Jonah on his rocking horse (this was mine when I was little!)

Jonah tackling Mom
Jonah giving me a kiss.  Such a little sweetie!

"Trick or Treat!"

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