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Monthly Archives: September 2011

101 in 1001: September Update

September has been a great month. We have been in our house for a full month and we are finally starting to get into a routine. This is important to me because a routine means there is order in my life. Order equals less chaos. Our house is starting to feel like our home, so that is also nice. Here is an update of what I have been up to over the past month and how I have progressed in my 101 in 1001 project.

13.   Have a double-date with friends once every other month (3/16): We welcomed our first dinner visitors this month with an impromptu homemade-pizza making party. Now, homemade pizza’s are a Sheppard tradition in the fact that it was the go-to meal my family would prepare because everyone could create their pizza just the way they wanted. I thought it would be fun to have our double date night incorporate this fun activity!

52.   Volunteer 101 hours (11/101): I enjoyed getting to volunteer this month in two different capacities. The first was with my home chapter of AXO where I helped with Recruitment. The second capacity was with the Junior League of Atlanta Nearly New store. Both were great experiences of getting to hang with new and old friends. Volunteering is good for the soul.

33.   Legally change my name: Done!

53.   Surprise someone. (with a visit, flowers, something nice) & 54.   Write 10 handwritten letters (7/10): My little sister just joined a sorority so I thought she might enjoy a surprise Greek-filled package.

67.   Try 30 new recipes (7/30): Whoopie Pies , Chicken Enchiladas, and Baked Ziti. The Whoopie Pies were a success. The Enchiladas, not so much.  The recipe called for Ranch dressing, which I hate, so I switched it for blue cheese dressing. Needless to say the blue cheese was to overpowering and did not taste good. The baked ziti recipe on the other hand was fantastic. I switched the tomato sauce for white canned sauce and it tasted SO good. The Whoopie Pies and Baked Ziti were recipes from Pinterest, while the Chicken Enchiladas was from a cook book.

86.   Set up 401K: Done!

That was a lot of progress for one month. Now to enjoy the first weekend of October with what is supposed to be Fall-like weather!

101 in 1001: Whoopie for a new recipe

This month I have been trying to learn to cook a little. When I say I have been learning to cook it really just means I have been obsessed with my new KitchenAid mixer and have been making all sorts of baked goods. Last week it was National Cream Filling Day and I wanted to bring something to my AXO Sisters for recruitment, so I tried my hand at making whoopie pies. I have tried them once before and failed miserably, so I tried a new recipe this time and it worked perfectly! Here is a picture of the outcome:

I must admit I was going to give up before I ever started because there were 13 ingredients involved in the recipe. That many ingredients= chaos in my mind and on my counter tops. After looking up many recipes I finally found one that had all of the right ingredients and seemed the easiest.  Good luck if you attempt to try your hand at Whoopie Pies. I would love to see how yours come out!

WHOOPIE PIE:
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. shortening
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
10 tbsp. cocoa
4 c. flour
2 1/2 tsp. soda
Pinch of salt
Cream shortening and sugar. Combine beaten eggs, milk and vanilla and beat into creamed mixture. Slowly stir sifted dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, and beat on medium speed about 2 minutes. Drop with tablespoon onto greased and floured cookie sheet (enough dough to make a baked cookie about 2 to 2 1/2 inches). Bake at 350 degrees until cookie just springs back when pressed in center with finger. Remove to rack and cool completely before filling.
WHOOPIE PIE FILLING:
Mix together:
2 tbsp. flour
1/2 c. milk
Cook until thick but do not allow to boil. Stir constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Set aside.Beat together:
1/2 c. Crisco
1/2 c. sugar
Beat until creamy. Add vanilla and salt (dash).Mix sugar mixture with the milk and flour mixture. Stir until smooth or beat on medium speed until fluffy.

101 in 1001: August Update

Wow! August flew by so fast! Granted, it was a busy month in terms of my life and therefore there is a lot to update. I just can’t believe it is already September. Here’s to over 30 days of recapping my life and updating you on my 101 in 1001 project.

25.   Take a girls only trip. In July my sister planned a bachelorette party weekend for me before I got married.  It was a great girls-only weekend with some of my favorite ladies. I am so lucky to have these ladies in my life!

38.   Go to a movie by myself.  This was on my 101 list because it makes me VERY uncomfortable to go places alone. I always thought going to the movies alone was completely weird. That is why this list is good because it pushes me beyond my comfort zone.  Back in July I was trying to figure out my Saturday plans in order to escape from last minute wedding planning errands. I decided cupcakes for dinner and a movie were the perfect “me-time” activities. Maybe not perfect in terms of keeping my waistline thin, but it was perfect in that moment.  I went and saw Larry Crowne and thought it was charming. I love Tom Hanks in anything he does, and Julia Roberts is also really great. The movie was a fun romantic comedy.

72.   Read 15 books (6/15). I finished The Island by Elin Hilderbrand.  This book was a great beach/pool read as it had a little bit of everything: love, romance, drama, beautiful setting, and engaging characters.  I am now on to reading Bossypants and Malled.  I have been switching between the two books. I am currently reading Malled because I started reading them both at the same time but stopped reading Bossypants for the hubby to read. We actually just took this book on our Honeymoon and my Husband read this book first. He was laughing out loud the entire time so I look forward to reading this book. I am only on the introduction of Bossypants and I am already dying laughing.   Malled is good and I will recap that book once I finish it.

2.       Get married. Wow, I cannot believe that I am three weeks in to being married.  Over a year of planning and preparing for our married life will came to fruition on August 13th in the most perfect day a girl could have ever asked for.  We are slowly settling into our married life so I will update on that later. For now you can follow along at www.mandyandconner.com

12.   Have a girl’s night once every other month (3/16): August I went with some new friends to a sips and strokes type place. We ended up not painting due to reservation issues but it was a lot of fun to just hang out with the girls and sip some wine.

20.   Go on a vacation outside of the US: We just got back from vacationing for our Honeymoon to Jamaica.

52.   Volunteer 101 hours (4/101): August was Recruitment for AXO at Georgia Tech so I enjoyed volunteering for their sisterhood day. I look forward to helping with my home chapter of AXO this month as they work towards welcoming new members into the greatest sisterhood around.

74.   Get a massage: During the honeymoon we had a couple’s massage. Such a relaxing way to unwind from the wedding.

 

Goals for September:

86.   Set up 401K. Starting my career means that it is time to sign up for my 401K. Here’s to hoping I understand it all.

33.   Legally change my name

34.   Change name on credit cards, etc.

84.   Have checks printed under joint account

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