Monday, July 23, 2012

Meet the Domesticated Joanna

Yes, you read that title right. Meet the domesticated me:

Ever since I have moved in to my new place (yes I know it has only been 2 weeks), I feel a bit more... "grown up" if you will. Which is a scary good thing, I suppose. Not only are Tony and I cooking more, but I am beginning to experiment new baking recipes as well!

My future in-laws visited on Sunday to help move the rest of Tony's things into our new place. So to thank them, I decided to bake them something! Since we had 4 very ripe banana's just chillin in our fruit basket, and since Tony's mom has a gluten allergy, I decided to try a gluten free banana bread recipe.

Here goes nothing...


  • 1-1/3 cups and 1 tablespoon gluten-free all purpose baking flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1-1/2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons and 1/4 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Stir in eggs, maple syrup and mashed bananas until well blended. Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture; mix until batter is just moist. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. If using muffin or cupcake tins, bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

(For more information on the recipe or to adjust the ingredients to change the amount of muffins you would like to make, click here for the website with the recipe and directions!) :o)

During the 15 minutes that they were in the oven... I decided to begin my blog post instead of cleaning up the mess I made. Oops. Dishes and I do not have a very affable relationship... so they were just fine waiting in the sink. 

DING! They are done!
Look at those beauts.

Ahhhhhh... if only I could share the smell with you as well. Heavenly.

So what's the verdict? Well... Tony, his mom, and his dad all said they were good and that they really enjoyed them. Tony said you couldn't even tell that they were gluten free! Either they were just being sensitive to my new found love for baking or they actually really did enjoy them. Either or, I'll take the compliment. :o)

Not only have I been crafty in the kitchen, but I've been putting my creativity skills (thank to Pinterest) to use in other areas. 

What can one do with buttons, fabric, and a canvas? Hmmm.. oh I know!!  

Wha-la! A buttoned "G" for when I am a married woman! 

With my finished craft, I decided to make an engagement/wedding themed wall collection for our kitchen: 

(Don't mind the messy table)

I ordered 2 8x10 engagement pictures and put them in frames that I found at Hobby Lobby (AKA my second home). The 11-17-12 picture is something I made for our engagement picture session with our photographer, and the flower is something I just put together with a mason jar and straw.  
Here is a close up:

So JoWanna know what? Not only is Tony one lucky dude ;o), but I have been enjoying all of this so far! With everything else going on that life hands me, taking on these new roles and creativity challenges has really been an alleviation from stress. To me, that time I spent crafting and baking was a nice and peaceful time to collect and reflect my thoughts. So whether you're looking to spice up your place, or looking for a "mind getaway", I prescribe you creativity. Not creative? That's nothing Pinterest can't fix ;o)


Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Where have you been?

I know, I know, Rihanna. I'm sorry! I've been hiding in the crowd. Ha... Ha... 

No but seriously... I have been so incredibly busy these past couple of weeks that my upkeep on my blog had to be put off. So if you missed me - I missed you too. 

Where do I even begin with the updating of my life since my last June 14th post? That was literally ages ago.  

I will begin with my "end of the year roommate extravaganza!"

This past year has been one of the best year's I have ever had. Living with my two roommates, Cristina and Jenny, has really made the year an excellent one. Before our lease ended (which it ended this past Monday, July 16th), we decided to have a "roommate night" where we not only celebrated a great year as roommates, but a great year of becoming best friends as well. 

So our first stop of the night: El Zarape for margaritas and mexican! 


After we let our full bellies settle, we headed off to a bar in Bowling Green called Clazel.

 These girls seriously make me laugh my hardest every time we are all together.

Then of course, we had a relaxing day at the pool! :o) 

When you think of roommates, usually horror stories come to mind. Trust me... I've had my fair share of roommate horror moments as well. But after this past year.. when I hear the word "roommates", I will think of my two best friends and how wonderful they made this past year for me. It's really crazy what kinds of things can happen when you don't mean for them to. You meet people who forget you and you forget people who you meet. But sometimes, you come across some extraordinarily people who will forever stay in your life. These girls were not only just my roommates, but they are my bridesmaids in my upcoming wedding as well. And the fun won't stop there either. I can't wait to share many more memories with these two! 


Next? The July 4th holiday! Welp, we all know that July 4th landed on an awkward Wednesday this year. Not going to lie; it was tough having a day off in the middle of the week and then be expected to get back into the grind of the things at work on Thursday. But my 4th was just as patriotic as everyone else's. I spent the 4th hanging out at the quarry with some friends and then spent the evening eating mexican food (again) at El Zarape followed by the Bowling Green fireworks. Doesn't get more American than that.

Chillin at the Quarry! :o)

The fireworks this year were pretty decent for Bowling Green. Hell.. they even beat San Diego's....
Although the cheering at the end leads me to believe the audience enjoyed the explosive show...

But anyways, here are some shots I captured from Bowling Green's firework display:

Tony and I at the fireworks!

 Tony watching away! :o)

 My roommate Jenny... very into the fireworks! :o)


I took a lot more pictures... but after a while they all start to look the same. I actually enjoyed taking pictures of the fireworks. Some of them came out quite beautifully. I saw a few posts on Facebook after the holiday stating, "Why take pictures of the fireworks? Just watch and enjoy them". My response to that is "maybe people enjoy taking pictures of them. So.... why does it matter?" If someone wants to capture a moment they are in, then let them! I enjoyed watching them and taking pictures! :o)

I hope you all had a wonderful, safe and eventful 4th! I sure did!

Now onto my BIG exhausting exciting move! 

Yep! That's right! Tony and I officially moved in together! We originally didn't want to move in together until we are married, but the way our leases fell someone would have had to find a place to live for 4 months... and that's just nearly impossible (and exhausting) to do. 

So last weekend.. on THE hottest day of the summer, Tony and I packed up our things and opened up a new chapter in our lives! 

Sweaty Tony loading up our things!

Unlocking our first place together! :o)

Yay keys!! 

 Slowly, but surely, we got all the big furniture in. 

And in result... 
The furniture ultimately won. 

We rewarded our hard work with a dinner of pizza, ice cold beer, and a bottle of champagne... on the floor since our table was in pieces. :o)

It's been quite an adjustment living with the man I'm going to marry... but I can't lie when I say it's pretty nice being able to come home to him everyday! 


And lastly... 
(thank you Lord, I know)

... I am going to tell you about my previous weekend! :o) 

This past weekend I ran in a 5k. The very same 5k I ran last year that embarked the beginning of not only my weight loss journey, but of my new found love for running as well. 

Last year, I ran the Feet on the Street 5k in Bowling Green, Ohio with Cristina and Tony's two sisters. Tony's two sisters DOMINATED and even placed in their age groups. I'm sure Cristina could have possibly placed in her age group as well, but she decided to stay by the side the entire way. I finished the 5k in around 33 minutes. At the time, I didn't even care about my time... I was just happy to have completed it without stopping. After I completed the race, I made a goal to run a 5k in under 30 minutes. Once I met that goal, I made a new one - to finally place in my age group in a 5k. 

So JoWanna know what? I finally reached that goal! And it just so happens I reached it at the same 5k where all my goal setting began! How appropriate! :o) And just like last year, Cristina and Tony were there with me! When I heard my name get called by local celebrity Jerry Anderson that I came in third place in my age group, I literally was stunned. Cristina came in first in our age group, and that was her goal as well; to finally to come in first!


I LOVE this video! :o)

 Cristina with her award! Finished in 24:49!!!!

 Me with my award! Finished in 27:11

The three of us after the race! Tony finished in 25:10!!! I am so proud of him. He has come such a long way as well. 

But now for the comparison.............

Left: Cristina and I last year.
Right: Cristina and I this year.

It's hard to believe how far you can come in a year when you put your mind to something. What exactly were our awards? Jars of candy. (Exactly what two people on weight watcher's need... hahaha) But that's not what this was all about for us. This race had more meaning to it than any award could exemplify. So do we stop here with the goal setting? Hell no. We have been traveling down a long and bumpy road to get to where we are today and our goals we met this past weekend are only going to help us stay motivated. We run for our own personal goals and we will not stop until we meet them! 

So I will end with this: 

"There are no tricks. Run because you have to. Run because you love it. Run because you want to be fast. Run because you want to be skinny. Run to find some quiet time. Run to sweat. Run to eat. Run to hear your heart pound in your ears. Run because you're a runner. Run because you gotta keep the streak. Run because you don't know why the hell you're running. Run because you fought with your partner. Run because your job is shitty. Run because you got no money. Run for the sunrise. Run for a race. Run because it's impossible. Run because it's easy. Run instead of doing the laundry. Run instead of watching TV. Run because no one else understands. Run because the cool kids do it. Run because you're tired of talking. Run for numbers. Run for feel. Run to prove something. Run because it f***ing hurts. Or don't run. If you got something better to do."

- Jeff Edmonds