Saturday, 29 December 2012

Last Post of 2012!

Christmas is over :( Around our house, we have taken the decorations off of the tree, put away the stockings and...left the tree sitting in the corner...we're not quite sure what to do with it. Our latest plan is to cut it up into little pieces and throw it down the garbage chute...dead body style. Haha! Otherwise you have to pay somebody $20 (!!!) to come and pick it up and throw it away for you! Ridiculous!

In other non-creepy news, can I just tell you how much I love silicone bakeware?? My goal is to own a WHOLE set of silicone bakeware but for now I just have large muffin cups, regular muffin cups, and mini muffin cups (so if you need any muffins/cupcakes, you just let me know). I get so frustrated when I am trying to make something and have gone to all this effort to mix, let it rise, wait some more, let it rise again, bake, cool...and it is ruined because it's stuck to the dang pan!! Well, no more! Whatever I'm making just pops right out of those little beauties! None stuck whatsoever! And they're so easy to clean I just need a cake pan and a loaf pan and I will be set!

Speaking of muffin-sized goodies, I saw a recipe on Pinterest (WHAT?!?) the other day and I was feeling lazy about making dinner so I wanted to try these out...

Egg Muffins!

Now the lady who posted this recipe is on the South Beach diet so her recipe is a little different than the one I'm about to bestow upon you :) They're still healthy and EASY! And I may be eating two right now for lunch :)

First of all, I used my LARGE muffin pan for these because I didn't want any wimpy egg muffins. These are pretty hard to screw up and you can pretty much use whatever veggies, meat, etc. you have lying around your kitchen. I did have to pop out to the corner store because I only had 4 eggs and that wasn't nearly enough...other than that I had everything in the kitchen!

10 eggs
1 zucchini (diced)
1 tomato (diced)
2 slices of ham (pretty thick, large, diced)
Onion (diced)
Dash of heavy cream (I had it and I thought it might make them did :)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese (just enough to sprinkle on top)

I put all my "toppings" in the cup first and filled them up about 3/4 of the way. Then in a bowl, I whisked the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper and poured over the "toppings" just until covered. I gave them a little stir in the muffin cups, and popped them in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. I sprinkled the cheese on after I pulled them out of the oven (because I forgot to before...) but Ben prefers the non-burnt cheese taste anyway! Now, like I said before, I used the silicone muffin cups so I didn't pre grease or anything...just put all the ingredients right in. If you don't have these you may want to grease the tin before add any ingredients. Also, you go right ahead and put any other veggies, meat, no meat you want in there! You can't screw these up! My recipe made six large egg muffins (I prefer the name mini sounds better!) at about 180 calories each! Not bad! And, again, super easy!!!

I will probably be making these again for breakfast/brunch because Ben would prefer breakfast food be served at breakfast :) I would eat them anytime of day!

We are off to a friend's bach tomorrow for New Years Eve so I will see you all in the new year!! I need to decide what my resolution will be this year! Any ideas?? I met my 2012 resolution (losing weight) and I would like to continue that one but add on another, maybe travel related?? I'll let you know what I decide!

Happy New Year!
Love, The Webers

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Boxing Day Recipe (and all things food)

It's been a while since I've featured a recipe on the blog! Yesterday, I wanted to make Ben his traditional Christmas morning breakfast of cinnamon rolls. That did not work out :( Apparently I "killed the yeast" so they did not rise and were these dense little rolls. Not good. So, I wanted to redeem myself this morning by making Cinnamon Brown Butter Breakfast Puffs. My friend Sara posted a picture of them on her Facebook and they looked delicious so I thought I'd give them a try. And, magically, I had all the ingredients* already! 

Note: These are not healthy whatsoever...they are dipped in butter. Enough said.

I made mini muffins and with the leftover batter made some regular size muffins. Because I just can't wait to do more than one batch...

They were really sweet but really good. I had one and that was enough for me! Which is good...because I don't need to eat more than one of these! Definitely redeemed myself after the cinnamon roll fiasco! it was not a fiasco, but I was mad at myself for messing up Christmas morning breakfast!!

Speaking of messing up a classic...

For Thanksgiving I mentioned that I made some stuffing and it did not turn out like Mama made it. Well, we were invited over to someone's Christmas dinner so I wanted to give it another go. And this time is was perfect!! I guess I didn't make enough "sauce" last time so it was a bit dry but this time, much better! Everyone seemed to like it! Score! Ben made some homemade Eggnog to take with us too and that was a hit. The whole bottle was gone in about 10 minutes, we probably should have brought more! Who knew? 

I know it's still Christmas in the States so...


Love, The Webers

Friday, 21 December 2012

Whale Wars, Teaching, and Baking...oh my!

Christmas is HERE! As a little pre-Christmas/anniversary trip we decided to go down to Wellington for a long weekend. It was so much fun and the weather was beautiful! Oh my gosh, the landscapes were just makes us remember why we moved to New Zealand! It definitely makes me want to explore more of New Zealand...I think it's time to head down to the South Island! Our whole smugmug album from the trip is here if you're interested. Again, beware of the 219 pictures. If you're wondering why there are multiples of the same pictures, Ben takes them like that in order to photoshop them later into a super awesome picture :) But most of the time they just stay in the tidy little album and nothing gets done to them. There are some in there that he has already photoshopped but not many. See if you can find some :) Also, there are some panoramas that need to be pieced together and that hasn't been done yet either! Oops! You're just lucky this blog is being written! Okay, picture time! So, if you asked Ben what the highlight of our trip was...he would tell you "getting to take a tour of the Bob Barker"!

If you're not as obsessed with Whale Wars as Ben is, the Bob Barker is a ship that is part of the Sea Shepherd anti-whaling fleet that tries to keep Japanese whalers from killing of whales. There's a TV show about them that's actually pretty ridiculous! The coolest part about getting to take a tour was the fact that they have no secrets and we could ask them anything we wanted! They were in Wellington actually waiting for the Japanese whalers to head down to the Antarctic for the Summer whaling season so it's just a matter of days until they leave again. It totally made me want to drop everything and join Sea Shepherd!! We also got to meet Peter, one of the more well known characters in the show... (are they a character if it's a real person??)

Ben was super excited about this photo. Normally he would not go up to someone and ask to take a picture with them...but there was no hesitation on his part to take a picture with Peter! Okay, last picture from the Bob Barker...we got to go up to the wheel house and I found this interesting on a big map they had...

Like I said, there's many more pictures from our tour on our SmugMug...just don't want to overload you!

Other than exploring anti-whaling vessels, we explored the city, ate a lot, hiked, and went to go see The Hobbit at The Embassy theater where the premier was held just a couple weeks ago. I mean what better place to go, huh? I wasn't super fond of the movie but maybe it's because we went to go see it in 3D and High Frame Rate (whatever that means??). The theater was cool, nonetheless!

Since the premiere was just a couple weeks ago, the whole city had a Hobbit theme (even the Air New Zealand safety video was Hobbit themed!) and here was this giant, scary-sized, Gollum in the airport...

On our last day in Wellington, we took advantage of having a car (yay!) and drove all up and down the coastline and found some super awesome beaches to photograph and just relax on! I'll just share one landscape picture that just blows me away! I wish you all could have had my eyeballs to see what I was seeing...because a picture just does not do it justice! We were standing in Island Bay at the south of the North Island, looking at some mountains at the top of the South Island! It's an amazing view!

And I'll finish my trip recount with one last picture...Wellington is known as "windy Wellington" because it's right in between the North and South Islands and thus...

I promise it's almost over...

I had my last day of work until after the New Year yesterday and it was such a wonderful day! Given that the world was supposed to end and all...not that I subscribe to notions like that! Back to my wonderful day...first of all, we only had 6 kiddos which made for a calm day with 3 teachers! Then, Ben brought me lunch (he's done with school for the year) and we hiked up to the top of a hill by the school and had a little picnic. And, best of all, my New Zealand teacher registration was completed yesterday!!! Praise the Lord! Now this may not sound like a big deal, but it has been a four month long process...which started the day we arrived in New Zealand, August 30th! (Okay 3.5 months...) When I graduated and applied for my teacher registration in Texas it's one online application that is automatically approved because, hello, I graduated from Texas A&M :) I mean, it took a week max! Me being unqualified and unregistered has also caused problems for my coworkers, sorry Small World! Anyway, now it's done! Now, I just need my permanent contract!

Finally (man, this has been a long post!!), I just made some delicious cupcakes that I'd like to gloat about :) They are carrot cupcakes (my favorite! And with all the chocolate Christmas presents I've gotten from parents I needed a little break...not from sweets...just from chocolate :) with cinnamon cream cheese icing! Yum! I only did half with nuts cause I know some people are picky about that...not me!

Doesn't the box make it look very professional? Ben said I am only one step away from owning my own bakery (life bucket list!). Compliment!

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (in case there's no more blog posts in between then and now :)
Love, The Webers

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Christmas at the Webers :)

Okay, I promised pictures of Christmas at the Webers and Ben finally uploaded them all to you can go check out ALL of them on our Smugmug (you know, if you like seeing multiples of every picture from a billion different angles). But for those of you who like to see the best of the best, here is a little selection of what our home looks like! 

First off, we have this sparkly-ness hanging in one of our windows, thanks to my sweet Mama!

And here is our beautiful Christmas tree in all it's glory!! I love it...I was so excited we found the perfect tree! Short and fat :) It would be perfect with a big burlap ribbon bow at the top but I have had a hard time finding any for now it's got no tree topper! Maybe next year...

We went with a blue theme this year...We had red and green when we lived in Katy and I wanted to be a little get to do that when you decorate for Christmas from scratch, huh??

And, I can never get enough of my monogrammed tree skirt that I got from the Nutcracker Market a couple years back!

And our matching monogrammed stockings! Yes, I love cutesy...

Hopefully, I will get to post another picture with presents under my tree :) It's looking a bit bare, don't you think?? I kid, I kid...

So, a couple of weeks ago, we went to a the Santa Parade in downtown Auckland but I never actually posted pictures from it...even though we took about a billion! So, here are a couple of my favorites:

First off, I need to get me one of these hats...

I love this little pizza/cupcake man...not sure what he was supposed to represent, but he's cute! :)

Beauty and the faves :)

Green Eggs and Ham

This "float" contained the most random assortment of characters ever! A dog, a Carebear, and Homer Simpson...along with that guy in the red shirt...just hanging out! Weird!

And last, but not least, Santa!

Again, if you'd like to see all billion photos from the Santa Parade, head to our Smugmug!

Merry Christmas (for the second time...let's see how many Christmas posts I can generate this year :)!


It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Ahh Christmastime! My favorite time of year :) So, I'm watching the Christmas classic (eh...), Love Actually, which makes me think of movie night with my two favorite cousins, Sarah and Rachel, and blogging about all my Christmas festivities!

We had our school Christmas celebration with the kids on Thursday so I made homemade Thin Mints....which. were. delicious! And also super easy to make...I think I ate too many of them because they don't sound delicious anymore :( Which might be a good thing! Obviously, I found the recipe on Pinterest and you can find it here.

I made milk chocolate and white chocolate and both were equally yummy! I tried to make dark chocolate as well but when I mixed the chocolate with the peppermint extract, it made it all hard and gloopy...weird! So, don't try dark chocolate!

Friday night, Ben and I were strolling around looking at some Christmas lights, and we stumbled upon this giant Christmas tree in the park by our house.

So, it's not super impressive in the picture (wish I had a video) but they have bean bags underneath and Christmas music playing so you can just sit and relax and watch the "light show!" It was amazing!

I could have stayed here all night, but Ben made me go home :( 

Last night, we had our staff Christmas party at this little bar in Mt. Eden and I can safely say, a scene was made by a bunch of early childhood staff with the night off :) Here are some of my favorite pictures:

So, I think I have about 5 pictures of Karmia and Caleb...and there is not one single one where Caleb is just smiling! 

I think this is my new favorite picture! :)

Or maybe this one (wish it wasn't so bright)...

Ben and Caleb taking care of the left behind scarf and glasses :)

And, finally...

Some words of encouragement for Ben when he's working on his boat building! Haha!

Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


Sorry guys! I've been slacking on the blog posting lately. This week has been crazy busy! This is actually the first night in about a week that I've actually cooked dinner :/ Oh my gosh, but Wednesday I had dinner with my book group at an amazing restaurant I have talked before called Depot...but between the four of us we ordered about everything on the menu so I got to try some more deliciousness! So anyway, my goal is no eating out this weekend since we weren't very good this week :(

The whole point of this post is to celebrate ONE YEAR from the day I decided enough was enough! I started my lifestyle change (ie diet) on November 29th, 2011 (coincidentally, right after Thanksgiving...) and here it is November 29th, 2012! I wish I had a scale where I could "weigh in" to see what my official weight is at one year exactly but I don't :( I am not ashamed to share my weight because I am so very proud of the weight I have lost and the effort I have put into my journey.

My starting weight was 254 (Biggest Loser moment...). I was not happy with how I looked and looking back, I can't believe I let myself get that big. But everyone's gotta start from somewhere! The past year has taught me that all it takes is a little determination and drive! It really is a commitment to eat healthy and work out...there were no gimmicks for me...just hard work! I can't say that I have been as healthy as I would like since we have moved to Auckland but I am happy to say that I have maintained the weight that I have lost! That is definitely a big fear for me...but now that I know what I can accomplish, I know I can kick it back into gear!

So, this is my "before" picture from November 2011 and the most recent picture I have of myself in my phone! Haha...trying on clothes! (FYI...I didn't buy the dress)

Well, I know you're dying to know my current weight :) As of a couple weeks ago, I was 88.8 kg (haha...see what I did there??) or 195.7 lbs.

That means I've lost (and, more importantly, kept off!!) 58.3 pounds!

I'm pretty dang proud of that! 

Here's another progression picture:

The first picture was taken when I completed my first (and only) day of P90X...the middle was about 50 pounds lost and the last picture is from tonight! 

There are definitely things I still want to work on and goals I am aiming for but I am so much more comfortable now with who I am and how I feel about myself! I love shopping and trying on clothes I could never dream about wearing (like that hot dress up above) even if I can't afford them! Hopefully one year from today, I will be posting that I have met my goal weight of 164! 

31 pounds to go...

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving from the Webers!

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a Thanksgiving "morning tea" at school this morning and it was a success! The older kids (3-5 year olds) love hanging out with my babies and, surprisingly, my babies are WAY better behaved with the "big kids" around! I loved being able to share an American holiday with my school family! Karmia and I also had a little (okay, it was pretty much all day long) photo shoot with the kids, which was a blast! I think if teaching doesn't work out, I'd love to be a children's photographer! I get way more excited about photographing kids than any sort of landscapes or adults.

Anway, back to real life...

Here are the outcomes of my two Thanksgiving baking adventures...

My stuffing did not turn out as well as I'd hoped :( It was not like "Mama made it." Ben said, "In 10 years, you'll have it down." Thanks babe!

On the other hand, my sweet potato casserole was de-licious! In an effort to not eat the whole pan, I am taking almost half of it to school tomorrow. FYI - It's really more of a dessert than a side :)

And my sweet husband brought me a Thanksgiving surprise on his walk back from the grocery store!

Now that may just look like a normal ordinary crate, but I have been searching for about 6 so I can make a bookshelf and Ben found this one just sitting on the street outside of a liquor store! Looks like I'm going to have to spend more time hanging outside liquor stores... Only 5 more to go. I have found them to purchase, but they are at least $20 each! I'm not paying that for a dirty crate!

Now, I've gotta go get my Christmas decorating on! Tra la la la la la la la la!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Successful Pinterest Crafting!

I would like to mark this occasion because for the first time in my 24 years, I am making my own Thanksgiving stuffing! I have eaten it since I can remember (both oysters or no oysters), helped in the kitchen, but have never actually MADE it all on my own. Well, everything changed tonight! As it involves an overnight process, it's not done yet but I can already taste the deliciousness :) And, as it's Ben's favorite part of Thanksgiving, I had better not screw it up!

Along with my stuffing, we are having sweet potato casserole (yum!!! My favorite but not Ben's so I imagine I will be taking a lot of leftovers to school), homemade crescent rolls, broccoli, and steaks! Sounds amazing, huh? I'll let you know how our feast turns out!

We are celebrating Thanksgiving at school tomorrow during our "morning tea" time but other than that, not really doing anything! We have already started decorating for Christmas and today we (by we, I mean I...) made a cardboard box fort and put some Christmas lights inside. Take a look...

Super awesome, huh?? Thank you Pinterest! The hardest part was making the box fort...after that, the lights were done in a jiffy! And the kids (and adults) LOVED it...

Did I mention that I love my job?? Never a dull moment! 

I will see you all tomorrow with the results of my Thanksgiving cooking! 

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Who needs a dishwasher anyway?

Every once in a while our dishwasher acts up and the floor in front of it gets a little wet. No biggy! Well, yesterday, I came home to a soaking wet bedroom floor. It just so happens that our bedroom is on the back of the dishwasher and apparently it decided to explode and soak everything while Ben and I were both at work. Here's a little view...

Hopefully it will dry out soon and we may or may not get new carpet...our building manager is coming by tomorrow to check up on it. He is also coming by to install our new dishwasher! The dishwasher that was in our apartment was the original install when the building was finished so they just chucked it after the explosion :) For now, we have this emptiness in our kitchen...

(bleh, looks a little gross...)

I bet you wanted to know how we are managing to sleep with that craziness going on in our room...well, it looks a little something like this...

(check out that super sweet floral box spring! we need a bed skirt.)

I don't even have to get out of the bed to get dressed in the morning! Like I said, hopefully it will be back to normal tomorrow. We'll see. At least we don't have more furniture to move around! I won a floor lamp on Trade Me for our living room that I'm super excited about! Maybe I'll remember to post a picture of it for my Thanksgiving post! Two more days :) I've got some yummy traditional recipes on the menu. I'll let you know how they turn out! 

Gotta go wash some dishes by hand...

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Skinny Schminny...

So, I'm always a little weary of healthy sweets recipes...I mean sweets taste so good because they lack any sort of health qualities, right? Well, I have been trying to get back into the swing of dieting after a couple weeks (months :/) off so I thought I'd make some healthy brownies this weekend! And I was very happy with how they turned out. They were moist, fudgy, and I love a good peanut butter swirl! Click the link below if you're interested :)

Now, they're definitely not the healthiest things out there but they're better than regular, old, oil-laden, floury, chocolate chippy brownies. I didn't get a picture but they pretty much looked like the pictures from the link above. And they weren't too difficult either! I ended up giving about half of them away so that I wouldn't eat the whole pan :) 

In other news, the Christmas decorating has begun in the Weber household thanks to my wonderful Mama :) 

I'm hoping to be able to go get a Christmas tree this coming weekend and then we can break out our tree skirt and stockings! We didn't get the chance to use them last year as we were living at the Nixon residence but definitely this year! 

Sorry I don't have more pictures for this post, but go try that recipe and then don't feel guilty about eating two...or three...

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas :)

I know you're dying to see the next stage of the Christmas decorations in downtown ya go...

We were hanging out downtown when they were putting the antlers on one of the reindeer! We were wondering about the people who live in these apartments whose windows are being blocked out by a giant they have a right to a view? I mean they probably pay a certain amount of rent based on their does it decrease for November/December? 

Okay, okay, enough suspense! :)

There are Christmas lights and all but I haven't seen it at night yet, I'm sure it's a beauty :)

Have I said that I love Christmas?

Anyway, I have finally started trying to decorate our apartment. It has taken me a while but I figure there's no real hurry and I don't want to spend tons of money so...I just buy one or two things while I'm out and about. Here is the start of my picture wall:

I know it's not real impressive but I'm working on it! I had to repaint our "W" (which was hanging in our apartment in Katy) because it fell off the windowsill and broke :( But superhero Ben fixed it for me! And the little "W" is a wedding present from Ben's granny so I'm glad we could hang it up as well! I have printed out a ton more pictures that I'm hoping to put up so if you're not up yet, you probably will be :) I'm just glad to have pictures up!

I have some more ideas that are in the works but the focal point (that I ordered on October 14th) is taking forever to arrive in the you'll just have to wait and see :)

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread...mmmmmm

Catch up from last post: I only did that workout for about 3 commercial breaks...300 calories...not too shabby!

So, yesterday I was in a baking mood. Long story short, I didn't get to bake anything so I woke up this morning on a mission. I found this recipe for Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread...looks delicious, huh? Well, I started to pull all my stuff out to make it for breakfast and I didn't have enough flour :( So, off to the store I went (like I said, I was on a mission). I couldn't go out and about on a Saturday morning without a stop for my morning coffee and the other day, I saw that Starbucks has their Christmas cups out so my feet knew where were walking before I had even decided in my head to go there :) And, I did not realize, but Starbucks has a punch card system and I got TWO punches for today! Good morning to me :) Mmmm...Gingerbread Latte...

Saw this little (or big) beauty outside of Starbucks this morning. They were still assembling the presents to go at his feet while I was waiting...I'll have to see if I can get a finished product picture tomorrow!

A good 30 minutes later, I was back home with my flour and my cup of coffee, ready to go! It was a pretty lengthy process to make this bread, about 3 hours in total including all rising and resting times, but it was very worth it. I am never really good about homemade breads with all the rising, kneading, punching, etc. but I am really proud of this product.

That was about as good lookin' as it got. It became a hot mess once I had to take it out of the pan because it stuck like crazy to the bottom (should have just left it in there). The taste was not affected at all but it just looked ugly and I had a little breakdown for a second there.

Needless to say, I have had nothing but pull apart bread and coffee to eat today...yum :)