Friday, February 26, 2010


As I said before, Michael, Shelby, and I went to my parent's house in Tennessee this past weekend. It's lambing season for them and sheep and lambs were everywhere! Well, not "everywhere"...I mean they have them well contained.

Sheep, like any other animal have very different demeanors from sheep to sheep. Some are sweet: And some are not:
This ewe was a touch looney. I liked messing with her. She REALLY liked getting her picture taken, so I made sure I did that often. It's a wonder she didn't stomp her hooves off.
Oh and if you are wondering how to shut sheep up (they love to hear themselves talk), there is only one way:
Feed them. It's harder to talk with their mouths full. Sheep are polite like that!

It even works for the lambs. A nifty little tidbit about sheep: Lambs and calves both nibble at grass/hay/solid feed from a young age mimicing their mothers. However, lambs are actually able to digest and use that solid food at a much younger age then cattle. Their rumens (the stomach compartment that breaks down grass and hay) develop much more quickly in sheep then in cattle. Rumens are essentially nonfunctional at birth. I think rumen development is fascinating. I would say it rates up there with fescue toxicosis as one of my favorite ruminant nutrition topics. Anyway....back to fun pictures of sheep. I will leave you with some cute lamb pictures.
Peaceful lambs:

Contemplative lambs:

Looney lambs (equals future looney sheep? I don't know, more research is necessary)

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I was going to do a post about this past weekend that Michael, Shelby, and I spent at my parent's house in TN. However, I'm gonna have to split it up. I have too much material. It was a GORGEOUS weekend. Saturday was exceptionally nice. After all the snow and nastiness and cold that we've had this winter (and it looks like it's back today), it was a lovely break. I spent some time playing fetch with the dogs.
Shyann, my parent's dog, lives to fetch. Well, she lives to "do" stuff. She's a border collie in every way. She just wants to do. She has such focus and intensity. You can see it in her eyes:
She could fetch until she passed out. Fortunately I'm over it before that ever happens!

Her favorite toy is her Bad Cuz:

SOMETIMES Shelby will even get the ball:
This doesn't happen very often. He always gets to the ball first, but Shyann swoops in and grabs it. He has the speed...just not the focus. He's only part border collie....part beagle. The border collie part says, "Get to the ball....get the BALL!" The beagle part says, "SQUIRREL!"

I mean, look at this intesity:
Can you blame poor Shelby for being like, "It's can have it."

This is the same intensity that Shyann brings to all endeavors. Take the following picture for example:
Pure focus. Keeping her eye on the prize.

Yep, that is one focused dog:

This is Shelby's "focus" face:

Then the beagle part kicks in and goes "SQUIRREL!":

He's just happy to be here.

"I LOVE the farm!"

Been a while..

I haven't posted in over a week, I do believe. I am going to try to get a couple posts done today. It's been a busy week in the Riddell household. We are trying to get ready for little Joseph's arrival. I am the type of person who always likes to be prepared. So, if this little guy decides to come 3 weeks early, I'm gonna be ready! I've got my bag packed for the hospital and after I get my car washed and cleaned out, we are going to install the car seat! I have just a couple things left to buy...I'm glad it's not much because take a look at the nursery right now:

It's filling up so quickly and the crib has become a catch-all for toys, etc.:
But all of those will go in the closet once Michael gets the closet set up like I want (will happen this weekend).

Take a look at this awesome blanket that my mom made:

LOVE IT! Thanks, mom!

Oh, and I bought this diaper bag off of
It's just too precious. It was really starting to depress me that all the baby stuff we are buying is made in's nice to have a couple things that I know were made in the USA!

Our new bouncer seat:

The swing:
It is sooo soft. I can't believe that the cat hasn't been in it (that I've seen). Maybe she doesn't like to swing. She does think that this room is hers. Crazy cat.

My super cute humidifier:
I was going to get the pig one, but I would have to pay shipping since I could only find it online. I thought that was silly since I could pick this one up while at Babies R Us (I feel like I live at that store lately). So, we have a little Holstein cow. I was worried that Michael wouldn't go for this type of humidifier, but it turns out that these are ultrasonic or something which means that they are energy efficient. That was all he needed to hear. Now I've just got to get something to set it on (it feels like this room will never be done sometimes!).
I'm just so happy that my to-do list and shopping list is getting shorter! I do have to go to the grocery today though. I can't put it off any longer. Today will be the 3rd day this week that I have to go out to get lunch. That is not something that's easy to do when you work at UK. There are not any decent places to grab something within short walking distance and it is always a pain to find a parking spot when you get back. Another thing I won't miss about working here! :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Baby Shower # 2

Michael's Stepmom and Dad threw us a wonderful baby shower this past Sunday. Michael and I were both surprised at how many people came out. I don't have many pictures from the shower. Michael was too busy socializing this time to be my photographer. I stole this first picture off of Anne Marie's facebook (that would be Michael's stepmom for those of you who don't know). Poor Anne Marie had a time getting this picture made...the camera just didn't want to take this picture for some reason. Finally, she got it...

This cake was AWESOME:
It was just so fancy!!!
The food was great!

Cute little boxes for the door prize...

These brownies were sinful..and thank goodness for the little footballs. I think from the time Michael got there to the time we left, he was throwing these footballs at people. Yeah, that's how he rolls.

The dip in the center is key lime pie cheeseball served with graham cracker sticks. It is soooo good!

The gift table (before everyone got there)

And the true star of the show....the only cat that got to stay inside while the shower was going on. She layed in the middle of the floor the whole time.

Thanks to Anne Marie for throwing such a wonderful shower for us. We really appreciated it and had a great time!

Bourbon Pecan Fudge Pie

Michael and I went to visit some friends this weekend. I wanted to take something sweet to share with them. I rarely make anything with bourbon in it since Michael is not a big fan, but I knew that our friend, Ken, would be game to try this. It's Bourbon Pecan Fudge Pie. I found it in my Chocolate Cake Mix Doctor Cookbook (love it!). When I read the description and it said that this pie tasted like a bourbon ball, I was sold. The description did not lie. This pie has a strong taste of bourbon, so if that isn't your cup of tea, replace the bourbon with buttermilk. It would still be delicious.
Here's what you need: 1 box of brownie mix. I accidently bought the "family size" package, but I rolled with it. I also used a dark chocolate recipe, but I'm sure any style chocolate would work just fine.
1 stick butter, melted
2 eggs
1/4 c Bourbon
1/2 c Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/4 c Chopped Pecans
1-9" pie crust (if you mistakenly buy the big box of brownies....use a deep dish pie crust, I didn't, but you will see why shortly)

Combine mix, eggs, butter, and bourbon in a bowl.

Stir 50 strokes or so or until well combined.

Dump that into a pie crust and smooth out the top.

Sprinkle chips on top

Add the chopped pecans and bake at 350 F for 45 minutes or until the middle is no longer all jiggly. It took mine about 47 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before serving. As you can see, a deep dish crust would have been nice here. Not the prettiest final product, but it sure was tasty. It would also be great with a scoop of ice cream! YUM....

Just look at that dark fudgy goodness....

Monday, February 8, 2010

Superbowl Sunday Eats

OK, so the Superbowl didn't turn out "quite" the way I wanted it to this year. I do find a little solice that it was the Saints that beat my Colts. I mean, it was the first time that the Saints have been to the Superbowl, let alone won. I still felt pretty crappy about it when I went to bed last night though. But I did have plenty of fabulous food. I tried not to go TOO overboard since it was just Michael and I. Anyway, I wanted to share our food and recipes with you! I don't have step by step pictures. Sorry, my kitchen was a mess and I wasn't feeling so great yesterday. So, I only have pics of the end products.

For appetizers I made Fried Mozzerella Balls:

Fried Mozzerella Balls:

Fresh Mozzerella (the kind packaged in liquid in the fancy cheese section of the grocery. I'm sure you could use cubed regular mozzerella, but this is what I used. It was already formed into little balls.

All Purpose flour

Salt & Pepper


Italian Bread Crumbs

Oil for frying

-Start heating oil (I used a small sauce pan filled about 1/3 to 1/2 with vegetable oil)

-Drain liquid off of mozzerella.

- Season flour with salt and pepper

-Beat Egg (1 egg coated about 12 balls)

-Dredge mozzerella in flour

-Dip flour coated cheese in egg and coat

-Dip Egg coated cheese in bread crumbs and coat

-Dip in egg again and in bread crumbs a 2nd time (this gets a really thick coating on the cheese)

-Fry in oil for 1-3 minutes. Just enough to get the coating crispy and brown, but not long enough for the cheese to ooze out. Drain on paper towels.

-Enjoy while warm either by themselves or with marinara sauce. YUM!

Main Course: Beef Dip Sandwiches: Beef Dip Sandwiches (slightly modified from a recipe on Pioneer Woman)

Chuck Roast (Mine was about 3 lbs)

1 can beef broth

1 packet zesty italian dressing mix

1 cup pickled banana pepper liquid (I used mild)

a few banana pepper slices


Provalone cheese

-Put the chuck roast in the crock pot

-Pour dressing packet over meat

-Pour broth and pepper liquid over meat

-Place pepper slices on meat.

-Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

- Once done and fork tender, remove meat from crock pot and shred.

-Butter the buns and toast (I used a griddle)

-Place shredded meat on bun and plop a piece of cheese on top.

-Serve with juices for dipping.

Fruit w/ Fruit Dip

I have been pretty obsessed with fruit lately...esp fresh pineapple. It's my favorite. I do not have a picture of the fruit dip (I had pretty much demolished it by last night), but here is how I make it. It's super easy.
Take 8 oz of softened cream cheese and mix with a small jar of marshmallow cream. Mix until nice and smooth. This is a little bit of heaven.

For dessert: Chess Cake Bars
Chess Cake Bars
1 box butter recipe cake mix
1 stick of butter, softened
1 egg
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 lb powdered sugar
-Preheat oven to 350
-Mix cake mix, egg, and butter. This will be thick and dough like.
-Press into an ungreased 9 x 13 dish
-Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and mix well between.
-Add sugar and mix. The result will look like a glaze.
-Pour over cake mixture in pan.
-Bake 40-45 minutes at 350 F.
-Allow to cool completely before cutting and serving.
I've got one of these in my lunch today. I'm so stinkin excited about it!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Baby Shower and More Nursery Pics

Some of the grad students threw me a baby shower this weekend. They did such an awesome job with it. Of course, we also go a big snow this weekend, so that cut down on the attendance, but I still had a wonderful time. Check out the cute cupcakes that Charlotte made: They were so yummy. The decorations and favors were just precious:
The chocolates were mint chocolates that Charlotte MADE. They were so cute. They were shaped like cows, pacifiers, and chicks (I think...I ate that one a little too fast to see what it was....they were delicious). The favors were little bookmarks with either a cow or sheep on them. And just a note on the table cloth: Charlotte made it. Yep, she's a girl after my own heart.

Cute little farm scenes on the mirror.

I got some really great gifts! I put Michael to work at the photographer. He drove me to the shower so that I wouldn't have to drive on the slick roads.

The crib:

Some of the great stuffed animals I've received already (I know you aren't suposed to put stuffed animals in with the baby in the crib, but this does keep them away from Shelby who really wants to chew them):
The mobile:

Awesome blanket that Sarah made:
I decorated these chipboards letters with scrapbook paper (got the idea from a book at Hobby Lobby) and hung them on the wall. It was actually harder then I thought it would be to find barnyard paper.