Life in the Real World

Real life experiences after college

A bit of family history August 26, 2008

Filed under: Family,Food,Random — jenncollins @ 9:40 am

I don’t know a ton about my ancestors but I do know that my great grandmother arrived at Ellis Island at 14 years old. She didn’t know any English and was put in a kindergarten class. She met my great grandfather later, who had also arrived at Ellis Island from Sweden (not sure of dates).

On another side of the family, my great grandfather came to the U.S. from Sicily (hence my maiden name, Rizzo) and met my great grandmother later who had come over from Lithouania.

Other family members came from England, France and there’s even some Cherokee Indian in me somewhere. Most of my family either settled in Chicago, Miami and Alabama. I’m a melting pot in and of myself.

All of these wonderful people were in the U.S. at the time of the Great Depression. I’ve heard many stories about the way they lived. They were all broke. It’s funny to see now how their kids (my grandparents) are still affected by the Depression. For the most part, they are very conservative. They wash plastic plates and utensils. No food goes to waste; even if it’s one piece of bread left over. Food never gets thrown away. They had to be creative. It’s admirable.

I almost feel like I could be like them sometimes with the economy the way it is. I often wonder if history will repeat itself in our generation or the next.

What do you know about your great grandparents? I love hearing family histories and how people survived the Depression. Share it in a comment!


Randoms August 7, 2008

Filed under: Church,Family,Fun stuff,Life,pregnancy,Random — jenncollins @ 12:50 pm
  • Well my bro moved to Athens this week. I already miss him so much. I’m possibly planning a trip up there (it will be Sadie’s first road trip!) late January for a friend’s wedding nearby.
  • Anyone tried my recipes yet? Let me know!
  • I’m 25 weeks preggo today! Sadie is the size of a rutabaga. Have you ever seen one? Here’s what one looks like. She’s constantly kicking…I know I say that every time I update about her, but she really does kick A LOT! Soccer player?
  • I’m going to see the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 tomorrow! I loved the first one and I’ve read all the books. If you’re a girl, grab your Mom or girlfriend(s) and see it together.
  • I saw Mamma Mia! last weekend with my Mom to celebrate her birthday. That’s another definite “girlfriend” movie. My pastor saw it…pink panties with lace and all! Haha, not really…go read his post about it to see what he said.
  • I forgot to mention that I have a new nephew! His name is Anson Charles and he is adorable…I just hate that he lives all the way in Louisville. Hopefully we’ll get to meet him soon and he can meet his cousin!
  • I promise to post some pics soon of the nursery and my baby bump! Just gotta coordinate getting a camera.
  • I’d love to get a new design for this blog…anybody wanna design me one? 🙂
  • Have a great weekend!

Goodbye to Bif August 3, 2008

Filed under: Life,pregnancy,Random — jenncollins @ 8:49 pm

Bif — 1991 – 2008

This past week our beloved Bif (our Jeep Cherokee) passed on. He died tragically of a loose pully that consequently broke his serpentine belt, his water pump and radiator. He is survived by his loving former owners and his fellow car-friend, Taury the Taurus.

Lame? Yeah. Anyway, our car died. And it would’ve cost $1000 to fix. I love Bif but he had a good life and he isn’t worth $1000.


Coca-Cola Cake: you NEED to make this July 21, 2008

Filed under: Food,Fun stuff,Random — jenncollins @ 12:16 pm

I’m feeling generous…and apparently quite HUNGRY so I’m sharing a free recipe with you all. Unfortunately I did not create this unbelievably scrumptous cake (it combines two of my favorite things: a cake with Coke in it=revolutionary!). I got it from a quaint tea house in Louisville, KY from one of their cookbooks (I wish I could remember the name of said quaint tea house, but like I said earlier, I can’t remember squat).

Anyway, here it is: The Revolutionary Cake aka Coca-Cola Cake (wish I had pictures…but I NEED A CAMERA!)

Chocolate cake

  • 18.25 oz pkg white cake mix
  • 4 T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 8 T (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 C Coca-Cola (the recipe says any “cola” will do…but I must disagree…it has to be Coca-Cola brand or nothing…none of that Pepsi stuff or off-brands)
  • 1/2 C buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 C miniature marshmallows

Chocolate frosting

  • 8 T (1 stick) butter
  • 4 T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 C Coca-Cola (same note as above…)
  • 4 C powdered sugar
  • 1 C pecans, chopped (optional – I’m not a big fan of nuts in my cake, but if you are, go for it!)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9-by-13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix all of the cake ingredients together save the marshmallows. Beat well, until no lumps remain. Fold the marshmallows into the batter.
  3. Pour the batter into greased baking pan. Bake 40-42 minutes. The cake will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Allow the cake to cool for about 15 minutes before frosting.
  4. Meanwhile, make the frosting. Place the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. As butter melts, stir in the cocoa powder and Coca-Cola. Continue stirring until the edges begin to boil; remove the frosting from heat at this point.
  5. If the saucepan is big enough, stir the powdered sugar into the frosting. If necessary, transfer the frosting to a large mixing bowl and then add the powdered sugar. The final mixture should appear glossy and smooth. Fold the pecans into the frosting.
  6. Pour the frosting over the partially cooled cake. Allow the cake and frosting to cool entirely before serving, about 30 minutes.

Serves 12-16

Keep at room temperature for up to 1 week.

I know you’ll love this. Let me know when/if you make it!


What’s up with me

Filed under: Blogging,Family,Food,Life,pregnancy,Random — jenncollins @ 9:47 am

It’s been a while since I posted so I though I’d do a list of stuff that’s happening with me to catch you all up!

  • I’m 22 weeks preggo now (5 1/2 months!!) and Sadie is kicking much harder and more frequently now. Anyone can feel her kick now!!
  • We painted our nursery (pics to come…don’t have a camera right now) mint green and light pink. It’s super cute!
  • I’m showing a little more (again, pics to come).
  • My brother and his wife are moving in 2 weeks to GA where my bro will get his doctorate at UGA. I’m gonna miss them…like, A LOT.
  • My Mom’s turning 50 this week!
  • Joel surprised me on Friday with new maternity jeans and a pink maternity tank top that says “Kicking 24/7”. It was so sweet of him…my pants are beginning to feel tight around my waistline now!
  • I’ve been finding 2 for $5 Coldstone coupons in the paper recently. We’ve been twice already and it’s a great little date! The baby LOVES ice cream…especially Coldstone…she told me.
  • I forget everything now…EVERYTHING. It seems to be accurate that pregnant woman are more clumsy and forgetful than their former non-preggo selves.
  • I ordered this book on last night. I want to buy this, this and this, but I’ve gotta wait for the $$$.
  • We are getting FREE furniture for Sadie’s room from our dear friends…words can’t even express our gratitude!! Along with their generoisty, many other family and friends have given us clothes, bottles, socks! and much more. My cup runneth over (I’ve never said that in my life but that’s how I feel!).

Later in the week I’m going to post my family’s secret spaghetti sauce recipe with Chicken Parmigiana. Consider yourselves lucky…very lucky.


We’ve got chemistry here…Alright Janice!! June 29, 2008

Filed under: Fun stuff,Random — jenncollins @ 10:10 pm

There’s this video that was really popular in my youth group when I was in high school. I came across it today and thought I’d share. I’ll never stop laughing at this…it’s awesome (in my opinion!). Enjoy!


Do you ‘ChaCha’?

Filed under: Fun stuff,Random — jenncollins @ 12:01 pm

I’m not talking about the dance! There is a free service out there called ChaCha. You can call them or text any question you want. Someone will text you back in a few minutes and tell you the answer! It’s best to do it when you’re not around a computer…obviously. Here are some questions I’ve asked and the answers I’ve gotten:

Q: Does a baby’s heart rate indicate their gender?
A: That is an old wives’ tale, so it’s not a proven fact, but: Over 140=girl, Under 140=boy

Q: How is baptistery spelled? With or without the ‘e’?
A: Both spellings are listed in the dictionary with the same definition. Pick the one you like!

Q: What is the soft drink exclusive to Kentucky?
A: Ale8. Apparenty it’s only available in Kentucky, althougj you can order it from their website.

It’s cool! Go try it! Text “ChaCha” (242-242) and ask away! Check out their website. You can even get paid to become a “guide” (the person who answers the question)! I’m thinking about doing it! Who doesn’t need a couple extra bucks??