[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.

Baby Belly

Sunday, July 31, 2011
My friend Sarah was nice enough to invite me over to the lake this weekend and while I was over there, I snapped some pictures of Sarah and her cute pregnant belly.  The human body is an amazing thing huh?  I can't wait to meet this baby in a few weeks.

Amazing stuffed peppers

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

So I may be a little bit biased, but I think I have the best husband in the world.  He made some amazing stuffed peppers and carrots and even cleaned up the kitchen when he was done.  I knew he was proud of himself when he put the dinner he made on a white plate (food always photographs better on white plates and I have a habit of moving it to a white plate if I decide to take a picture).  Ladies and gentleman don't ever let Kevin complain to you  about my picture taking.  This white plate proves that deep down, he likes it :)

An amazing stuffed pepper recipe courtesy of Melissa, Kevin's sister (who referred us to the recipe), Paula Deen (who created it), and to Kevin (who made it perfectly).  Here's the link to the recipe:  click here!


  • 4 large red bell peppers
  • 3/4 pound ground chuck
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • 2 teaspoons House seasoning, recipe follows
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup jarred cheese and salsa
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion tops
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 cup hot water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Start by cutting the peppers in half lengthwise, leaving the stems intact, and halving them also. Remove the seeds and ribs inside the peppers.
Using a hot skillet, saute the ground beef, pork, onion, garlic, 1 teaspoon of bouillon granules, and house seasoning together. Saute until onions become translucent. Drain the fat off. Add the rice, cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, green onion tops, and soy sauce. Mix well and stuff the mixture into the peppers. In a small bowl, mix the hot water and the remaining bouillon granules. Pour this mixture into a shallow casserole large enough to hold all of the peppers. Place the stuffed peppers in the dish, cover with foil and bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Remove the foil and spoon the juice from bottom of the casserole over the top of the peppers. Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

House Seasoning:

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months

Baby Trout and an unconventional baby shower

Hands down the best baby shower I've been to.  It started off in the usual way... late lunch, presents, and cup cakes, but took a turn for awesome when we got in our bathing suits and headed down to the lake.  Thanks to the wonderful host Nina for putting on an awesome party for baby Trout. 

A couple snapshots from the day:

The Hepkers

Friday, July 15, 2011
So I've officially crossed number 9 off my pre-baby bucket list.  I was the maid of honor in my best friend's wedding!  I had this horrible dream right after Emily got engaged that it was Emily's wedding day and I had forgotten to buy my bridesmaid's dress and had nothing to wear to their wedding.  Little did I know that was a foreshadowing of the events to come...

Emily chose a very cute bridesmaid's dress maid by Lela Rose and directed us to a website, Wedding Shope Inc where we could all purchase our bridesmaid's dresses.  Well, over 12 weeks before the wedding I went to this website, put in my credit card information, and submitted my order for the dress.  Awesome - processed successfully.  Then I waited for it to arrive... and waited... and waited... finally two weeks before the wedding I started to panic.  My dress wasn't here yet.  I called the company and they told me they had sent me an email and told me they were not able to get the dress ontime and had refunded my money.  I of course never received the email - straight to my spam box.  So to cut to the point, my conversation with the customer service representative ended with me saying, "Not that you care, because you're terribly mean and your company sucks, but I'm going to tell all my friends and family how horrible your company is."  So there.  I've held up to my word and I have faith that none of you will ever buy a bridesmaid's dress from Wedding Shop Inc. 

So the story continues....I proceeded to call every bridal store that carried the designer Lela Rose to see if they happened to have a sample of the dress in the specific color I needed... wisteria.  I even got Kevin involved.  As you can imagine he got a couple weird responses when he called asking if they carried a one shoulder Lela Rose dress in wisteria.  And of course nobody had this exact dress in stock.  The closest I came was a store that had it in ivory and a store that had it in electric blue.  Somehow I didn't think Emily would be very happy with either. 

At this point I was nearly in panic mode when I contacted Bella Bridesmaid in St. Louis and for the 20th time explained my situation.  The owner of the store Carrie, called someone, who called someone, who called someone at the factory and had them overnight me the exact fabric for this bridesmaid's dress.

I had one week to get a completely custom bridemaid's dress made.  I called a few seamstresses before someone finally agreed to tackle the project.  Audrey, you're another hero.  Seamstress of the year in my book.  She constructed a dress from scatch from start to finish in less than a week.  We decided to make the neckline a little different since it would be difficult to replicate the other bridesmaids' dresses exactly and since I was the maid of honor so it was ok if I stood out a little bit.  In the end, the dress turned out great.  If you ever need to buy a bridesmaid's dress or need a seamstress, I couldn't recommend these ladies enough. 

So enough about my dress.  How about the bride's dress?  Emily looked absolutely amazing on her wedding day.  The cut of her wedding dress was modern, the lace was classic and beautiful, and the intricately beaded sash was a great finishing touch.  I though it made the perfect combination of new and old and it just looked fabulous on her.  But more importantly she was so excited to get married to Casey and I think they are great together.  So happy for you two - Congrats again!

Once again, pictures compliments of my wonderful dad, Rick Nelson:

And I'll end with my favorite picture of the wedding.  Something just struck me about this picture.  I think they both look fabulous... and the sun is shining through the trees... and they're staring in each other's eyes... sigh.  Love it.

Practicing getting married

Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Last Friday, I was at my best friend's wedding rehearsal.  I was just going to post some pictures from the wedding, but I think some of these pictures were great, so I wanted to post these first.  These pictures are compliments Rick Nelson, my dad, who generously took pictures at Emily's wedding.

Oh and if you're wondering how I actually managed to look more tan than Kevin in this picture when I haven't seen a lick of sun all summer... you guessed it... spray tan!  In the past I've only had good luck with the tans that an actual person spray's on you (like the ones they do at Shine in Omaha), but I was super impressed with this spray tan machine.  And they have them in all the Ashley Lynn tanning salons - it's called VersaSpa.  Pasty white to tan in less than 3 minutes and it lasted for about a week. 

Has anyone got a good grasp on the whole tan thing?  How can I get a great tan when I'm nervous about the chemicals in the spray tan and nervous about the aging and cancerous effects of the natural sun?  What about vitamin D?  How much sun is too much?  And what's the deal with all this sunscreen stuff?  What do you mean it's not waterproof?  You mean we've really been lied to for the last 33 years?  All things I plan on looking into at some point, but for a short while I plan on enjoying my spray tan in ignorant bliss  :)
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