Thursday, May 30, 2013

Knock You Naked Brownies!

For everyone's inner fat kid:

Can I get a group "yum!" on this one? 

What can go wrong with two layers of brownies craddling a layer of caramel and chocolate chips? AND I even used a double boiler for the first time today (with the help of my friend Erin of course).

Here is a link to the recipe. I did not put nuts in mine.

So try these brownies! They will cure any problems in your life! Or am I the only one that food does that for...

Love and blessings,

Annmarie Faye

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Top Ten Thoughts Running Through My Head

Hello! So I am trying to blog a little more regularly, and I thought having a few regular post formats would help me stay motivated. So every Thursday I will l do a Top Ten list of something.

So here are are my top ten thoughts running through my head as of recent.

1) Country music and summer go together like me and chocolate. Seriously, it seems like every summer my iPod plays more country music than ever.

This leads me to my next thought...

2) Miranda Lambert is my girl crush. She is gorgeous, has such a cute voice, amazing songs, and her music videos are entertaining.

3) Why is the man allergic to cats? I want to keep the kitten I found in my parents yard SO BADLY, but alas, his hypersensitive immune system will not allow it.

4) But really, how can anyone be allergic to something this cute?

The guy in the pajama pants is my younger brother by the way, don't mind him. 

5) I am seriously wondering how I will make new friends in Pennsylvania. Do I sign up for "online dating" to make friends? Bake pies and give them to my neighbors, hoping they invite me in for tea? Or just pray that I run into someone who find me at least slightly entertaining and nice?

6) I'm getting married in 24 days! Oh my goodness, that is soon! 

7) On that note, only 24 more days of centerpieces, RSVPs, and alterations taking over my brain! I cannot wait to have conversations and thoughts that do not revolve around the wedding. 

8) Jordan is going to be such an improvement for my last name. 

9) I have been watching the food network a ton lately, especially The Pioneer Woman. I have also been craving cooking. Is that my domestic side kicking in? I'm sure the man won't mind.

10) Lastly, I went for frozen yogurt with my younger brother today, and decided that cheesecake flavored frozen yogurt is one of God's best creations.

Me, my ice cream, and my insomnia-induced under eye circles

There's a peek inside my thought stream late at night. Hope you enjoyed!

Love and blessings,

Annmarie Faye

P.S. I know it's not officially Thursday yet, but less than an hour until this is an official Top Ten Thursday post.
For all of my Rage Comic readers 

Monday, May 27, 2013

My Last Cottage Visit For A LONG Time

Memorial Weekend was bittersweet for me. Sweet because I got to spend it at my Grandparents' cottage with a bunch of family, eat a plethora of deep fried delicacies, and just spend some time in nature. Yet bitter, because I know that it will probably be the last time I can go up to the little town of Leroy for a very long time. This place holds many memories for me, and while I am so excited to be moving onto a new phase in my life, this was a hard goodbye.

The Green Cottage

Henry's General Store, one of the few local stops in Leroy, MI

Me, circa 2009 or so, posing with a sign in the woods by the cottage

While the weather was chillier than I had hoped (no swimming for this girl), it was a sunny gorgeous weekend. Rose Lake is a gorgeous lake, and while I did not get to swim in it, the view was incredible. And if you can look closely, Ringo (my parents' dog) enjoyed the water enough for the both of us!

This is my own little slice of heaven...ignore the crazy dog on the right
I only had a few heartbreaks this weekend. Heartbreak #1: falling in love with this little guy!

Chimi, you stole my heart
I dubbed him Chimi (short for chimchanga). He had a collar, but an owner could not be found. And the hard part is between the man and I, I have to be the logical one when it comes to taking in pets. Well, my big old heart almost kept him. But a neighbor took him to the shelter, so hopefully his owner will be looking for him...sigh. 

On Saturday, we drove to Cadillac to go thrifting! My best find was a wedding veil.cowboy hat (which oddly resembled my mother-in-laws wedding ensemble from the eighties)...

My new wedding veil! Maybe...or maybe not. 
I did not buy it. But it, along with other amazing vintage pieces, were found at the Atomic Closet, a kitschy little vintage boutique. While it is more expensive than Salvation Army or Goodwill, it has some wonderful clothing, jewelry, and furniture from decades ago. It is definitely worth a stop if you are in the Cadillac area, even just to browse.  

On Sunday, my family celebrated Deep-Fry Day! That's right, all of us Polaks spent the day deep frying everything from chicken fingers, french fries, macaroni and cheese, and ravioli, to name a few. It was an American, delicious, artery clogging, diabetes inducing, magical meal.

Golden french fries, with some macaroni cubes in the back
My sinfully amazing dinner plate
All in all, this weekend was a blast! I so enjoyed the time outdoors with my family. While I am headed off to start a new chapter of my life soon, it was nice to relish in the previous chapter and it's wonderful times as well. 

Love and Blessings,

Annmarie Faye

P.S. When we got back to my parents' houses, we found a tiny stray kitten! She is such a cutie and cannot be more than three weeks old! If anyone is interested in giving this lover a warm, caring home, please contact me. I'd be keeping her myself if the man wasn't allergic to sucker. ;)

Someone adopt this cutie!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Jesus Tingles

I was not going to write a blog tonight. I mean, it's 12:38 in the morning for goodness sake's, and I'm working on getting on my future hubby's old man sleeping schedule.

Although to be honest, most of my best blog posts come at odd hours. But I digress. 

So I am going to delve into one of my biggest personal faith issues. See, I was listening to Faithful Love (click here to listen to it, and here to see the lyrics

), and I started to get those "Jesus Tingles." It's hard to explain, but those tingles that make your heart feel so warm. 

The tingles that really make you feel God's presence. 
The tingles that almost bring tears to your eyes when you truly feel God's love coursing through you.
The tingles that make you want to go out and save the world from all of the bad (am I the only one who gets this? Maybe it's the social worker in me...)
The tingles that make you feel as if God has his arms wrapped around you.

How is this an issue? 

The issue for me is that lately I feel that these tingles do not come very often. And my faith needs these tingles.

I need these tingles. I need to feel God's love. It helps me to be more Christ-like. 

So because I know how important those tingles are to me, here is my game plan for doing my part in getting those tingles. Because I know that those tingles are not something that come to me randomly; I need to put in effort in my relationship with God in order to get those. And I have not been doing that enough lately. 

Here is my game plan for Jesus Tingles:

Sadly, mine has been more of a spare tire lately. 
1) Prayer more often. 
Prayer should be an all day event for me, not just before meals and occasionally before I fall asleep. If I can text the man all day, I can shoot up spirtiual texts to God. 
How: I set alarms on my phone for three random times throughout the day. These will set off a harp sound (clever, huh?) to remind me to say an extra prayer. 

2) Read the bible more
The bible is the only direct, concrete item we have from God; I should be reading it whenever I get the chance! I need to really delve into God's work more often than on church Sundays and bible study on Wednesdays. 
How: I finally located my bible in my mess of moving stuff! So I have it next to my bed to read it before bed every night.
Bonus How: I have a bible app on my phone ( a FREE app I should say) that allows you to have reading plans that have a devotional with each daily reading. I started a plan, that will alert me on my phone every day to do my daily reading. 

3) Listen to more Jesus music
Now I already listen to a lot of Christian music. Christian radio is wonderful! But I do notice that accapella music really makes my soul sing. It tends to give me tingles like no other! That would lead me to think that listening to more accapella Christian music would give me more tingles. 
How: I created a playlist on youtube of Christian accapella music. That way, when I am being a lazy bum on the computer, I can still get my Jesus on and hopefully have a few more Jesus tingles (just like I had tonight).

We will see how this goes. I tend to be all passionate about my faith habits for a short while, and then I get lazy. So please pray for me so that I can keep this up. And maybe you yourself will get some more Jesus tingles. 

I'll end this with a gorgeous photo of a double rainbow I saw last week. God is good!

Love and blessings,

Annmarie Faye

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Modest Monday (Two Outfits!)

Hi guys! The past couple of days have been a blast! My mother had a direct sales type party for a friend to sell her product this Thursday. It was full of yummy food, tons of laughs, and my super cute niece!

And here is what I wore to the fiesta:

Animal Print Maxi Skirt: A random store at Gurnee Mills Outlet Mall in Illinois (No more than $14) 
Full length Lace Tee Shirt: ordered online from Deborah and Company ($19.99)
Mini-cardigan that ties between your boobs (is there a name for this?)- I literally have no idea. I've had it since eighth grade at least. 

For Mother's Day, my brother and I bought Jan (my mother) a sweatshirt from her alma mater. It was such a nice day that involved all of us taking a nap, and my Uncle Gary coming over to have dinner with us all. Here is what I wore today: 

Long sleeve Lace Tee: ordered online from Deborah and Co. ($17)
Tank top: Khols from about four years ago, so I forget the price
Jeans: Silver Jeans from Maurices ($89 and SOOO worth it!)

This outfit shows how a top that could be super hoochie if worn alone actually looks cute and fairly modest with a layer underneath. This is why I highly recommend buying a few layering lace tees from Deborah and Co.. They are not too badly priced, go with anything, and is from a company run by a passionate Christian woman. She is much more conservative than me, but I am inspired by her faith and I can always support someone who's trying to run a Christian business and blog. 

So overall, I hope this showed that it is not too hard to be cute, fashionable, and to not put it all out there. 

Hope everyone had a great Mother's Day!

Love and Blessings,

Annmarie Faye

Friday, May 10, 2013

Things My Mom Has Taught Me

My mother, more affectionately known as Jan, is a loving, crazy, generous cook who loves her family. I have been so blessed to have her as a mother. In honor of Mother's Day being this weekend, here is a list of what Jan has taught me throughout the years.

1) If you are a people pleaser (as Jan and I are), cooking for people is the best way to fulfill that habit.

2) A parent's job is to give their child roots and wings. The wings are the hard part.

3) When you wear jewelry, it looks like you put a lot thought into how you look that day.

4) How to be an amazing stay-at-home mother. This has actually inspired me to stay at home with my children someday.

5) How to go out of your comfort zone. After us kids were in school full time, Jan went back into the work force. As scary as it must have been after being a homemaker for years, she did it. And is still working at that same job.

6) A good work ethic is one of the most important things you can have.

7) It is important to visit elderly and sick people who usually do not get visitors.

8) Family is so important, and if you're lucky (I am!), they will be some of your best friends.

From left to right: Ter (Dad), Jan (Mom), Clay (brother), me, and the man

9) It is possible to start healthy habits at any age. (Jan has dropped over 70 pounds!)

10) "Marry someone who you think hung the moon and the stars, and who feels the same way about you."

11) "Sometimes I want to smack your father when he snores at night. But I still get butterflies when I hear the garage door open when we comes home from work. And I still touch up my lipstick. That is love."

Jan and Ter have been married 24 years!
12) "What I want most for you is to be able to support yourself and to be happy. In that order."

13) How to always keep faith in God, even when life is full of struggles.

Thank you Jan, for all that you've taught me. You've shaped me into the woman I am today, and I truly think of you as one of my best friends.

Hope everyone enjoys their Mother's Day!

Love and Blessings,

Annmarie Faye

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

How to Have A Nonalcoholic Bachelorette Party

This weekend my bridesmaids put together a bachelorette party for me! But because I am under 21, most of my bridesmaids are under 21, and I wanted my party to revolve around my girls and I instead of drinking, I chose to have a dry party.

That being said, that doesn't mean we had a quilting circle and baked pies! So here are my steps to having a fun booze-free bachelorette party:

1) Get a hotel room. My bridesmaids got us a hotel room with a pool and hot tub to relax and hang out in. It was so nice to get away for a night, so right away I felt special doing something out of the ordinary. And my girls decorated the room and brought an amazing  animal print (my obsession!) cake, which definitely helped with the party vibe.


2) Get dolled up and go out to a local restaurant. It was so much fun for all of the girls to curl each other's hair, share makeup, and get prettied up to go out to dinner. We went to a local place called the Grandvilla Restaurant , which had a little something for everyone. It wasn't super expensive for fancy, but it was delicious. And it is always fun to get dolled up and have someone else cook for you.

3) Go on a mall scavenger hunt. This was a wonderful idea! The girls drove me to a random location for a "secret mission." So we ended up at the mall, all dolled up in a tiara, veil, and sash. I was to complete a list before the party could really start. Some included asking couples for marriage advice, getting my ring cleaned at the ring shop, and asking for wedding advice. Everyone I talked to was so nice, and the girls got a kick out of giggling at me awkwardly talking to strangers.

4) Play sexy games. Once we got back to the hotel room, my girls had a few games planned. We didn't take any pictures of these, but here is an explanation of one that is fun, easy, and not too raunchy:
Have all of the girls buy a few pairs of panties for the bride that would describe their personality. At the party, the bride had to guess who got her which panties. The bride gets all the panties. It was quick, fairly affordable for the bridesmaids, a lot of fun.

5) Just enjoy the time with your girls. The rest of the night we spent in the pool, talking about girly things and marriage, laughed a lot, and just enjoyed the time together. This was perfect for me, especially since I will be moving out of state soon. I really enjoyed the time and am so blessed to have such amazing bridesmaids.

So there you go! A list of ideas that goes to show you a fun bachelorette party does not have to involve strippers and alcohol. I had an incredible time at my party, and would not have had it any other way.

Love and blessings,

Annmarie Faye

P.S. The man had his bachelor party this weekend too, and also had no booze or strippers. His activity: paintball! I still do not understand why guys have fun coming home with welts all over there body, but they all had a blast and want to do it again soon. Just an idea for those looking for non-alcoholic bachelor parties..

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Pennsylvania Recap

This past week I had the amazing blessing of visiting my fiance at our future apartment in Pennsylvania. This was after almost two months of separation. The whole week prior I was giddy with excitement, which kept mounting as the days got closer.

As I walked up that plane, I was on a mission to get to my man. I was weaving in and out of crowds, so well that a man even told me he was following me because he could tell I was such a "seasoned traveler" who "really knew her way around the airport." If only he knew I was a newbie who just wanted to see my man!

When I finally reached him, I threw my bags on the ground (almost breaking my laptop...whoops!) and jumped into his arms. Tears were streaming down my face; it did not seem real that I was whole again after being without him for so long.

Us out to dinner after my flight

Our first full day together, we went to a mall about 40 minutes away. Yes, there are closer malls, but there are no Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants near us! Their boneless wings are one of the man's main food groups, so any chance to get some and he is a happy camper. We also picked out his wedding band (which was a butt load cheaper AND quicker to buy than mine!) AND saw this on our drive near Hershey, PA: 

Hershey Kiss truck on the highway

Yes, this chocohaulic lives only 40 minutes from Hershey Park and might get diabetes living so close...

After our day at the mall, we tried a church on Sunday. It was not a great fit for us, a little too charismatic, yet not very friendly. We're keeping on praying for God to lead us to the right church home. Then we relaxed and watched The Bible series for a while (I will do a review of it once I've watch all of the episodes, but so far, it is excellent!)

Our relaxing Sunday

Overall, the week consisted of Brad going to work while I explored the neighborhood, addressed wedding invites, and wrote bridal shower thank you notes. Yes, to some that might sound boring, but knowing that my sweetie was coming home every night made it all worth it. Every day was just another nudge from God towards this marriage and this move. Views like this also tend to nudge me as well; it's like a personal welcome to PA decoration from the Big Guy!

Gorgeous flowering tree right in out neighborhood

One of the last things we did was go to Scooter's, a restaurant near us. It was delicious! It had a mix if EVERYTHING, so I could indulge my carb, cheese and seafood cravings while the man got a manly meat meal. The seafood Alfredo I had was full of shrimp, scallops, and crab meat. It was easily some of the best Alfredo of my life! The man said his steak was so tender and much bigger than he expected. 

Brad's "Man Meal" of steak and potatoes

Creamy seafood this what heaven is like?

The week together was incredible! While we did not have a ton of time (or budgeting is lame sometimes) to do much sight seeing, I had a blast! Just "playing house" with my future husband was everything to me. Staying in our future home, walking around our future neighborhood, and just being together every day, reminds me why this is all worth it. Why I am fighting the distance so that we can have this life together soon. It was also just the refresher I needed before embarking back to Michigan, my bachelorette party and intense wedding planning.

Right before out trek back to the mitten!

Love and Blessings,

Annmarie Faye