Friday, October 31, 2008
In her honor, I'm guzzling orange juice today. I'm in the beginning stages of a cold and I refuse to let that ruin my weekend with the Absolute BFF. I can already feel it working...
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
1. Our heat works incredibly well. Our little apartment is super toasty and our windows don't let in any chilly wind. This is a major improvement over the last historic apartment I occupied.
2. Pumpkin fondue is a culinary possibility. Check it out. Laura made it. I want to get really hardcore and make a little half-batch for the next The Office viewing party. Can't wait to report back.
3. I am not asleep at my desk! I'm unbelievably exhausted from staying up way too late watching Heroes, but I'm staying awake!
4. We're almost done watching Season 2 of Heroes. Finally--we can get our Netflix queue back to movies!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
How cute is this recipe box? Answer: so cute. So very, very cute. Yes, this is another giveaway post. How could I resist though? You should know about this--it's so cute. Visit monogramchick.blogspot.com to enter. Tell her I sent you and if you win, I win too!
Here are my random thoughts for the day:
1. Pumpkin style Amish Friendship bread is amazing! I subbed out the cup of oil the recipe calls for with a cup of pumpkin. So amazingly delicious and it must be loads healthier without a cup of oil. I figured it would work since you can make cake mix with pumpkin instead of oil. Leap of faith? Yes, but it worked. Hoorah!
2. When I work out, I get bored after about 30 minutes. Once I change and head out on the street though I feel like I could run for another 30 minutes. Is this weird? Am I the only one who feels this way?
3. Speaking of being bored, living without a television for close to a year now (wow!) has made me realize how mind-numbingly boring most tv shows and commercials are. I watch The Hills, The Office and Heroes online. I watch random stuff at the gym while I jog and I just get so frustrated with commercials and stupid television. Oh man.
4. I am slowly becoming my father. And my mother. I've totally switched to decaf coffee (I didn't mean to, but caffeinated coffee makes me sick now!) and the only person I know who drinks decaf coffee in the morning is my father. Also, I've become somewhat of a news junkie. Granted, I will never watch cable news (his drug of choice), but still...I'm a 50 year old man in a 20something woman's body. I mean, he's a good person to turn into, but still--decaf coffee in the morning?!?!?!
5. Some stuff went down with our neighbors across the hall last night. I know their lives are none of my business, but when people yell really loudly and I can hear it over my dinner it sort of becomes my business. Anyway, Nathan and I locked the door and camped out in our foyer to listen to it go down. (PS--it wasn't violent or anything--we weren't idly standing by while a domestic dispute played out). Anyway, it seems that the woman (wife, girlfriend, who knows?) has been cheating on the man and he walked in on it. That's right--Nathan and I had front row seats to a live version of Trapped in the Closet. Never a dull moment, I tell you.
6. I wore my winter coat today. We broke down and turned on the heat last night. I think we're approaching winter. It's coming. Look out.
7. Only 9 days until my Absolute BFF lands in Boston for four days of fun! I cannot wait! We are going to eat and talk and shop and it will be wonderful. I'm pretty picky about who I shop with. You know how some people just needlessly slow you down? Or want to look at stuff you have no interest in? Absolute BFF is a prime shopping partner. We go for the same stuff (cute deals) and we both have a rather no-nonsense approach to stores. Love her. Love spending time with her. She's been my best friend since we were 10 and I haven't seen her since May! Granted, we talk daily, but still...it's better in person!
Monday, October 20, 2008
I wanted to let you know of a few cool giveaways going on in the BlogWorld.
First, My Journey Toward: The Glamourous Life of a Housewife is giving away a rocking pumpkin pan that I fell for a few weeks ago at Williams-Sonoma. Insanely cute, no? Sis-in-Law and I have started making Amish Friendship Bread (let me know if you want some starter) and I'm going to try to make it tonight with pumpkin. It would be darling in this pan.
Second, Preppy Little Dress is doing a mystery giveaway. All we know is this: the packaging is adorable! Check it out here.
Those of you who love Cake Wrecks will probably also love this blog I stumbled upon--It's Lovely! I'll Take It! This blog highlights the best of the worst in house listings.
Also, I remembered to take pictures this weekend when we went to Head of the Charles Regatta. Enjoy!
First off, here are my pictures of the cookies Laura at A Dozen Eggs sent us. So cute, eh? And...I know I've said it before, but they don't taste bad like frosted cookies are "supposed" to.
This is Hall's Pond Nature Sanctuary. A little piece of nature right down the street from our (very) urban apartment.
A Boston duck, for my favorite ducks. (Note to Ducks: Expect a package from Nathan and me in the coming days.) Also, I want to send a big shout out to the Princess (one half of the Ducks) for getting a new job at a rocking Methodist preschool! Hoorah!
This is Nathan and me by a big anchor at the USS Constitution (last weekend). Sorry I'm slumped over--we were super tired of walking around by this point!
It was cooooooold this weekend and since we still haven't turned on our heat, Miss Marple had to get creative to stay warm. Yes, that is my cat cozying up in my purse!
Here are Nathan, Baby Girl #1 and me picnicing at Head of the Charles. Notice how everyone but us is wearing proper coats. Uh huh...we were cold in just fleeces!
Sorry we have no pictures of the actual race, but here are Nathan and me with a bit of the Boston skyline behind us. Look closely and you can see my new favorite pants (pink critter cords!) and my new purse I wrote about a few months ago.
For most of the day Baby Girl #2 was snuggled up in the stoller. She refused to wear tights under her pants and she was a bit chilly. It was really cute to watch her try to do stuff without her hands because she refused to take them out of her jacket sleeves. Once she finally ventured out of the stroller, she got lots of looks walking around on Nathan's shoulders. We decided it was because her hat made her look like a cupcake. She rode on his shoulders all the way from the Charles, through Harvard Square and on the T. Adventurous!
And here's how Baby Girl #1 took in the race...with her Daddy.
Friday, October 17, 2008
--catch up on my correspondence. No really--expect mail!
--go to Head of the Charles on Sunday.
--buy groceries for the rest of the month.
--eat fall foods. I'm thinking butternut squash and more pumpkin goodies.
--watch 10 episodes of Heroes with Nathan. We are super far behind!
What are your big plans?
Thursday, October 16, 2008
1. I finally got the confirmation this morning that I do indeed get to graduate in December. Um...yeah...I have a job and haven't been in college since last December, but I don't actually have a degree in hand yet. This is great news!
2. Nathan and I are on a sample Christmas card! Our wedding photographer, Leah Bowman, designed Christmas cards that she is selling to raise money for her church. They are super cute, way less expensive than other custom photo cards AND Nathan and I are on one of the samples! How fun is that. Check them out here.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
In lighter news, the first boutique I'm going to feature is Calista Cove. The best part of Calista Cove is that there is a little something for everyone. Pajamas? Check. Hair accessories? Check. Stationary? Check. Jewelry? Check. Also, everything is fun, but at the same time sophisticated and refined. The selection is great and there is an extensive sale section. Also, Jennifer Grove, President of Calista Cove, maintains a very fun lifestyle blog, Life in the Cove. Check it out!
Finally, I was the recipient of a sweet blog award courtesy of Mrs. Guru.
I'm going to pass this on to:
Lauren at Adventures of a Southern Newlywed
Barefoot Bird at Barefoot in the Park
Mrs. Newlywed at Misadventures of a Newlywed
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
A and C were super fabulous houseguests! Truly--at one point C attempted some home improvements for us (he's a builder of sorts) and they were always washing dishes or tidying up when we were not looking.
The four of us have very similar travel philosophies and it was so much fun visiting different Boston neighborhoods and wandering around together.
I forgot to take pictures (all weekend!), but here were the highlights:
Friday--UBurger, visits from Nathan's parents and grandmother
Saturday--Harvard Square (A is applying to Harvard Law), sandwiches from Darwin's Ltd., eating A Dozen Eggs cookies near Mt. Auburn Cemetery (we never actually found the entrance), lots of Carcassone, chai and Amish Friendship Bread
Sunday--Freedom Trail (sort of), SOWA Open market, walking around South End, cheese and homemade caramels (Rosemary and Lavender with sea salt!) at South End Formaggio, picnic in the Public Garden, USS Constitution, Charlestown, the North End
Monday--Nathan had to go into work, but I had the day off so A and C went and explored on their own while I did some craft projects, folded 7 loads of laundry and took a nap. Good day.
They said their goodbyes this morning and flew back to NC. It was so, so much fun having them up here. Our next guest is one of the Absolute BFFs, but she's not coming until Halloween so we have a bit of recovery time.
Our lives will get back to their normal paces and I'm hoping to post a bit here about some independent online boutiques and etsy shops. I love buying one-of-a-kind and handmade and it's more important now than ever to support local and independent businesses. Although every store will feel the pinch of decreased revenue as we all tighten our pursestrings, small businesses tend to feel that pinch more.
Anyway, look for those posts in the near future and have a great week!
Friday, October 10, 2008
Sis-in-Law sent a new blog to me this morning: Cake Wrecks.
It's pretty funny and also really informative. I just emailed the Mario wedding cake to a sorority sister of mine who loves Mario.
The site also brought up a very memorable personal cake wreck in my mind. Incidentally, my wreck occurred at the above mentioned sorority sister's pref night.
Y'all who were in sororities remember pref night. You're wooing girls (Bid Day's the next day) and you only invite girls who are guaranteed a bid. You're dressed to the nines and you listen to older sisters give speeches about how much the sorority has meant to them during their time in college and then you eat cake and talk to the potential new members about why your sorority is a good fit for them. It's a special, rather formal occasion.
Okay, now that we've set the stage, let's discuss my wreck. I cut our sorority's letters out of yellow sheet cake and iced them in our colors. It was beautiful. Our colors are double blue (light and dark) and gold. Everyone oohed and ahhed and I felt great...until we cut the cakes. That blue frosting stains everything! All of the sisters and the potential new members had their teeth stained blue and they had to go to the other sorority's pref night with blue teeth. I was pretty embarrassed. Now, I look back on it and laugh.
Oh well. I hope it brings you a chuckle on this Friday morning.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Everyone at work was sort of in a bad mood and it was chilly and I was in a funk.
Today is the exact opposite. Today is an excellent day. Today I drank a cup of pumpkin spice tea in a new china tea cup with a magnolia on it that my mother sent to me from the Replacements, Ltd. yard sale.
Today it is warmer than yesterday (or at least less windy).
Today I woke up in a bed with a mattress pad on it. (Yes, Monday night when I changed our sheets I forgot to put a mattress pad on the bed. I was too tired to fix it then so I remade the bed last night).
Today I'm really thankful that I live in America where it's okay to not share the same political opinions as my co-workers.
Today I received a great email from my Daddy which included this mini-essay on giving and genorosity. This is his commentary followed by the anonymous essay:
A while back I read a book by Kirk Nowery entitled Revolutionary Generosity. In the chapter on Revolutionary Contribution: Putting Your Money Where Your Heart Is, Nowery cites the following mini-essay from an anonymous writer. I’d like to share it with you as we begin to prepare for this Sunday’s worship:
Can we, who have so much, be touched by those who have so little? Can full stomachs hear the hollow echo of the empty? Can a people drunk on personal freedom, human rights and civil rights, adequately understand those who are held by famine and hunger? Can we who are held captive by our gadgets, entertained by TV, seduced by Hollywood, victimized by our own success, be touched by those who search frantically for individual gains of rice to fill their now-empty bowls. Can we, whose ears are in tune with sound by Pioneer, Sony or Panasonic, hear the plaintive cries of the child in San Paulo, the wailings of a young mother standing above a freshly dug grave in India, or the broken sobs of a father recently bereaved to raise six kids in San Salvador? Actually, who are the deaf, the blind, the crippled, the hungry? We are! You and I! We have eyes that cannot see, hearts that cannot feel, ears that cannot hear, hands that cannot move and a hunger that cannot be satisfied! But it is not too late. We can change! We can alter the charted course of the starving, empty, lonely peoples of our world … God help us to have a growing sensitivity to those around us. May he open our hearts, our eyes and our hands on behalf of a hurting world. (p.75-76)Today I'm going yarn shopping and thrifting before going out to coffee with friends.
Today I'm excited that it is only two days until C & A fly into Boston for 5 days of fun!
Today everything seems to be clicking right along and I could not be happier!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
1. My straightener broke. My hair is a puffball today because I took a shower last night (in an effort to get warm sans-heat) and then went to bed with wet hair. I thought I would straighten it this morning. Guess not. My straightener was purchased 3 years ago for $12 at TJ Maxx. I refuse to pay more than $15 for a new one.
2. In the bathroom at my office, new hand washing cartoons have been posted. They're cute and remind us to not spread germs. Here's the weird part--they were commissioned by the Minnesota Department of Health and have Minnesota emblems all over them. Um...I work in Massachusetts. What's the story there?
3. I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off all morning. Our doorbell (yes, my office has a doorbell) has been ringing non-stop.
4. Thankfully, I'm going to meet Sis-in-Law for lunch in 15 minutes. This is pending, however, on everyone else from my office coming back in time for me to leave. We'll see.
5. You need to visit Laura's blog, A Dozen Eggs, and enter her Halloween trivia contest. We received our Halloween cookies yesterday and they are ridiculously delicious. You know how iced cookies usually taste pretty bland, but they're cute so you eat part of them and then discretely throw the rest away? Well, Laura's cookies are incredible! I would be proud to bake something that tasted so yummy. The taste is reminiscent of Moravian sugar cookies aka one amazing tasting cookie. So yummy. Enter the contest! Do it!
Monday, October 6, 2008
I found this video last night and I looooooove it. If you know me in real life then you know I am a sucker for old-school, cheesy country music (think: Kenny and Dolly). This video made my night and made my husband make fun of me for singing along:
Pardon Me (I Didn't Knit That For You)
It was a gorgeous day as you can tell from this picture:
Here's Baby Girl #1 showing off one of her "perfect apples." The search for the "perfect apple" was a big deal.
A shot down a row of the orchard. I love orchards.
Here's Baby Girl #2 striking a pose with her apples. You know what's great about apple picking? You can eat apples while you pick apples! Is anything better than that?
You can also eat apple cider doughnuts and drink apple cider--in theory that is. When I attempted these two things, I apparently took too long because Nathan ate both of our doughnuts and drank all of the apple cider while I was busy taking pictures. That's right--I got two bites of doughnut and ONE SIP of apple cider. I was bummed.
And here's Nathan and me. It was ridiculously bright and sunny, so sorry for the shadows and squinting.
And another shot of the orchard before we left...
Friday, October 3, 2008
She also asked for the pumpkin pie dip recipe and since she's giving me cookies, how could I refuse?
The recipe is originally from Cooking Light (although, truly, what is light about pumpkin pie dip?).
I'll tell you how I made it and what the recipe actually said.
8 oz of reduced fat cream cheese (the recipe called for 6, but I think it's silly to buy cream cheese and have a fourth of a container left over when you have no bagels in the house!)
3/4 cup pumpkin (the recipe called for a half cup but I thought I should add a bit more to balance out the cream cheese addition)
1/2 cup brown sugar (I actually did not stray from the recipe with the sugar)
2 tsp. honey (the recipe called for maple syrup, but again, I have trouble buying ingredients that I will never need again)
1 tsp. cinnamon (recipe called for 1/2 tsp, but again--I deviate)
1/2 cup crushed walnuts (this was never mentioned in the original but it was oh-so-good)
Whir everything but the nuts together in the food processor and then top with walnuts. Serve with local apple slices so you can convince yourself that you are doing something remotely healthy. So.Good.
Also, before I forget, I won a Pay It Forward the other day. I received my gift yesterday (two super cute notepads) so that means it is my turn to pay it forward. The first three people to leave a comment will get a little surprise from me!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Panera lemonade is a rip-off! Two dollars for a cup filled to the top with ice and no refills!
Pumpkin cookies are like muffins the next day--kind of sticky, but still delicious.
We are going to completely reorganize the apartment this weekend in preparation for HGS2K8. I'm excited.
I'm wearing Crocs at work. Truly. And it's okay!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Last night I went to a yoga class--something I haven't done in 2 years (at least!). I loved it and will definitely be returning.
Then...we finally got to chat with the Princess and EnviroCop. I can't even tell you how great that conversation was. We've been leaving each other voicemails for a month now, but last night we actually talked! We started planning out our glorious reunion in December and we're unbelievably excited. It's hard to live apart from your best friends. Seriously.
When we got home, I made pumpkin cookies to use up the leftover pumpkin from the pumpkin pie dip (which was absurdly delicious). Nathan and I decided that this recipes is actually for Pumpkin Muffies because they were cakey, but in cookie form (sort of a cross between muffin tops and cookies). Anyway, I can't remember where I found the recipe, but here it is:
1 cup pumpkin
1 cup butter (I used Earth Balance)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minute (although I baked mine for 15). Makes 3 dozen.
So delicious. Go make some and share.