Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Does this bring a slew of memories to anybody else but me?



I saw someone else post this...but loved it.

Wedding weekend

This weekend we went to a wedding of one of my law school friends. She looked gorgeous and we had a great time!!! It was fun to hang out with some law school friends and I still can't believe that her wedding is over because it always seemed so far away.

Best Wishes, Martha!!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Whoops


David left the ironing board out one evening when we were gone. This is how it was positioned when we came home. If you are wondering who did it, I will give you a hint:

Monday, March 29, 2010

Palm Sunday

Yesterday was Palm Sunday and we brought home palms from church. Yet again this year, the cats found them and began playing. I tried to put them out of their reach, and this is what I saw:
I got out other toys for the cats after that.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Wine and Cheese Night

My wine and cheese party with my friends was SO long ago, but it is the night that I left my camera at my friend's house on accident, and that's why you are just now getting the pictures!!!

We had such a wonderful time enjoying wine, cheese (well, everybody except myself) and visiting with our friends. In case you forgot, the concept was for each couple to bring a different kind of wine along with a cheese pairing. Here are some of the cheeses:
And here are some of the appetizers:
I made the bacon-wrapped yumminess at the very front of this picture. If you want the recipe, head over to my Tasty Kitchen recipe page and check it out!

More cheeses:

We had such a great time with our friends. Wine and cheese = fun evening!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fun Thing Friday: Birthday Gifts!

This week I wanted to write about my birthday gifts. I had such a wonderful birthday last week and enjoyed seeing my friends and family during various celebrations. I received many wonderful cards, gift cards, and other monetary gifts and I will share what I bought with that in a later post. But for now I will share my more tangible gifts. My parents took me shopping and bought me some much-needed summer clothing.

David's parents gave me a St. Patrick's day bracelet and these cute towels:
For some reason I think my in-laws think I am obsessed with cats, because I received not one, but two kitty cards from my nieces and nephew that had cats on them. I can't imagine why they think that! (Haha I am kidding. And is it sad that I have kitty cards still displayed in my kitchen?)

I got some helpers with the photography:


Also, David gifted me this fun new purse, which I love because it is a more neutral color than my old turquoise purse (it sounds hideous but it is cute):
He also gave me some soap and bath bombs from Lush, along with a new (ahem) cat mug. That yes, I do use every day.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rejection

When I was in high school, I really, really wanted to go to Brown University. I wanted to get out of the mid-west and go to one of the coasts and enjoy my college life at a great University!!!

However, I was wait-listed...and then rejected.

I was really sad. My dream of getting out of town was gone and I was "stuck" going to a school in the mid-west. I was accepted to other schools on the East Coast, but paying the crazy tuition seemed silly at that point.

It turned out wonderfully, though, because I had a fabulous college experience (and now see why my parents always said that college was so much fun), met a ton of really awesome people, traveled, and learned a lot from my many wonderful professors.

My friend Robert posted this story on Facebook about people who are very successful even though they were rejected by their first choice schools. I thought it was very interesting because, even though I felt sad about Brown, Warren Buffet was rejected by Harvard!

Did you get rejected by your first choice college? Do you wish you could have attended or do you feel like you had a good experience at your college?

Risotto!



Tonight I made some risotto for the first time. I used the Pioneer Woman's Red Pepper Risotto recipe. It. was. delicious. Risotto is a good meal because, while my pack of the rice was $5, I only used about 1/5 of the package, so it seems pretty cheap.

Cooking the risotto was a little tedious because the cook is not supposed to stop stirring the pot, but other than that the meal was delicious. I used low sodium chicken broth and this white wine:
This is a very cheap bottle of wine (I think I paid $10 for the bottle), but I love the label. Isn't it cute?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Word to the wise

You should always, always, always go introduce yourself to your neighbors when they move into the neighborhood. Also, bring something like brownies or lasagna or SOMETHING. We had a new neighbor about a year ago and never went over there to knock on her door because it was nice, we figured we would see her outside sometime and would introduce then, she never went outside, so then it just got weird. I'm telling you this in case you have to go knock on your new neighbor's door at 6:50 a.m. because your cat is in her backyard, about to have a showdown with her dog.

That happened to me this morning. Every day, I let my pets outside to "romp". They usually run around our front door, exploring, eating grass, etc. Today my cat Thorina decided to go on an adventure to the neighbor's house, and as I was looking for her I noticed a little tabby streak INSIDE the neighbor's fence. I was on the phone with my husband, who told me to get kitty treats to try to entice her out of the fenced area. I looked like a fool, shaking them, trying to grab her through holes in the fence, and finally I gave up.

Then I noticed the dog. He was happily going about his business, and Thorina was posed to pounce. Thorina is not a friendly cat, and I was worried of lifelong trauma for her, so I knocked on my neighbor's door. The poor woman had just awakened, so I met her at her front door and asked her if I could just go through her fence door to retrieve my feline. We went to the backyard and the scene was grim. Thorina was on top of the fence and the dog had her treed. Stupidly, I ran to her and instead of throwing her over the fence into our yard, I decided to grab her and hold her while I ran through the fence door. During this time, the neighbor lady had her dog in a deathgrip, attempting to make him stop sniffing my rear end.

I ran across the yard and tried to open the fence...but it would not budge. Chaos ensued...my cat and I were stuck, the dog was right next to us, and Thorina was going CRAZY. The poor neighbor lady was in her pajamas, attempting to hold the dog back, and we realized that we were locked inside the yard.

At this point Thorina decided to make an epic effort to get. out. of. there. She lunged and hissed at the same time, but I held fast to her little body. However, she lunged again and I lost her. Her collar broke and she streaked across the yard, climbed over the huge privacy fence, and ran away. I sheepishly stood with the neighbor doggie while our neighbor went through the house to let me out of the yard, thanked her and apologized profusely, and went back home.

Where was Thorina? Sitting on our front porch. I felt bad for her because she felt really hot and scared. We went inside and she licked her war wounds.

The moral of the story? Try not to introduce yourself to your neighbor at 7 a.m. on a Wednesday morning when you really need to get into her yard. I will probably be bringing by those brownies....a little late, but better late than never.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How about them apples?

Source
What is your favorite kind of apple? I was sitting around, enjoying a pink lady apple and thought that it was my favorite kind. Then I asked my friend Julie what hers is. We determined that Pink Lady apples are very delicious, and our least favorites are Granny Smith and Red Delicious.

So tell me, what is your favorite kind of apple?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Without the internet...

How would we know that there is such a thing as a swimming cat?

Trololololo

Someone posted this on weddingbee last week, I finally watched it this morning and had to share...it is too hilarious.

Bacon and Salmon and counting down the days

I have gotten pretty close to my graduation day lately...this week is the last week before my spring break starts and today I am going to the officer elections for the legal frat for which I was president this year. I am ready to hand the position over but it feels so surreal to be at the mid-point of my last semester in law school...and maybe school forever. I am really excited!

Yesterday we ate some salmon with bacon, which is a delicious combination. Here is what I did:
Salmon with Bacon
- three pieces of frozen salmon, defrosted
- 1-2 slices of bacon
- olive oil
- lemon pepper
- Old Bay seasoning

Cut the salmon (I always dice mine into smaller pieces) and liberally sprinkle Old Bay seasoning on one side. Dice the bacon into tiny pieces; cook until crispy in a skillet. When the bacon is nice and crispy, drain off the grease and reserve the bacon. Do NOT rinse the pan as the bacon droppings will help to flavor your salmon.

Put 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil (watch the dish and add more as needed) in the pan and be sure it is hot. Add the salmon and let it cook for a while. Add some lemon pepper to the salmon. Stir the fish until it is fully cooked and at the last minute add the crispy bacon pieces back into the skillet. You should have no oil left in the pan by the time it is all finished.

Enjoy!

Menu Monday:
Monday: leftovers from Sunday
Tuesday: fish and a salad
Wednesday: Chex Mix
Thursday: I am going to try to make an asparagus risotto recipe I saw in a magazine
Friday: fish

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Census

We received our census forms in the mail the other day. I filled them out right away and left them on the counter. Two days ago, I began cooking some seared scallops which resulted in a large amount of oil popping out of the pan, and as a result, our census form has oil all over it. Sorry, census people.

Have you sent in your census form?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fun Thing Friday and something I forgot

I forgot to mention that yesterday after my computer debacle I turned on my other computer, one that has been slow since the day I got it, thinking that I could use it instead of my little Macbook for a while. However, my hopes were pretty much dashed when I saw these words on the screen:

PLEASE ENTER DATE:

--/--/--

PLEASE ENTER TIME:

--:--


Let's just say that having to enter the date into your computer is NOT a good sign.
Source
Since I am missing it so much, I decided to have my MacBook be my fun thing Friday. I LOVE my MacBook. It is my constant companion and has traveled to school with me and home, on vacations and back, and around the house with me. It is a constant source of entertainment and information. Seriously, how cool is it that we now have any piece of information we need at our fingertips? I love it.



Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Birthday and my sick computer

Yesterday I turned 25 and really could not have asked for a better birthday. I woke up early and finished a lot of little projects I needed to do, ran, and headed into school. After school I came home and got ready to go out to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants with my parents, my mother-in-law, and David. We had a lovely time relaxing and enjoying the evening. When I got home David had an ice cream cake in the freezer for me and gave me presents! I was spoiled with a new purse and delicious-smelling soaps, along with clothes from my parents and other nice cards and gifts from friends and family. Thanks everybody for the birthday wishes!!!

The craziest thing happened yesterday afternoon. I was sitting in class, typing my notes, and all of a sudden, my computer froze. Fine....I decided to turn it off and turn it back on, the most elementary of computer fixes. But then I got this:
Source
Yes, the screen of death....a blinking file folder with a question mark. Funnily, I began laughing. Seriously, this could not be happening...I mean, you hear of people's computers crashing, but you never think it would happen to you. Plus, the file folder looked so funny just blinking on and off over and over that I could not help but giggle.

I went to the tech place on campus, which would take 10 days to fix my laptop. Law students just don't give up a laptop for 10 days. Those people had to be crazy! So then I called Apple. They were no help because they had my serial number registered to someone else's name. Finally, I took it to a Mac service shop here in town and luckily they were able to take it in and fix it. The bad news? They think that all of my data is lost. It reminded me of this scene from Sex and the City:


It stinks but I believe that I had saved the pictures from my computer this Christmas, so that is at least good. The only things of real sadness that I will lose are my notes from this semester. Luckily, I think that nice people in my classes will give me theirs.

Anyway, I will be sure to give you an update when I hear from the Mac store. Hopefully they can retrieve some things on my computer!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!!

Source
Happy St. Patrick's Day to you and yours!!!!

St. Patrick's Day is a very important day for my family because it is my birthday today! My family loves St. Patrick's Day so I always feel like I was born on a very special day.



Monday, March 15, 2010

Menu Monday: Shrimp Chowder


I am sorry for the horrible picture, but this is the best I can do since my camera is MIA

I made up this recipe yesterday after reading lots of different shrimp chowder recipes. While it isn't the healthiest soup ever, I think that it was majorly delicious and overall a success. I decided to share the recipe with you today!

Chick in the Czech's Shrimp Chowder

- one box chicken broth (I believe this is 4 cups of liquid, but I'm not sure)
- 4 raw carrots
- 3/4 yellow onion
- 4-5 stalks celery
- one large potato
- two cups yellow frozen corn
- shrimp (I used 3/4 of a bag of frozen shrimp)
- 1-2 slices bacon
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1-1 1/2 cups half and half
- cajun seasoning
- Old Bay seasoning
- Tabasco sauce

1. Dice the carrots, potato, celery, and onion into very small pieces.
2. Dice the bacon and fry it in your soup pot on medium. When it is finished frying, drain most of the grease but leave a little bit in the pot.
3. Put the butter in the pot and melt the butter in with the bacon on medium heat.
4. Add the onions and let saute for a minute or two.
5. Add the potatoes, mixing them with the onions.
6. Add the celery and carrot. Allow the vegetables to saute for another 4-5 minutes.
7. Finally, add the frozen corn. I added mine while it was still frozen and it turned out fine.
8. Meanwhile, begin cooking the shrimp in a separate saucepan.
9. Add the chicken broth to the soup pot. Allow it to get the crusties off the bottom of the pot.
10. Put the soup pot's heat on high to cook the vegetables.
11. When the shrimp are finished, ladle appx. 1 cup of the shrimp broth into the soup pot. Drain the rest. Take off any shells that may be on the shrimp and cut each shrimp in half. Add the shrimp to the soup pot.
12. Add Cajun and Old Bay seasoning to taste.
13. Add the half and half.
14. Add Tabasco sauce to taste.
15. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, and then enjoy!

I served mine with Tabasco sauce so that anybody eating the soup could season it to their taste.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Daylight Saving Time

Don't forget to spring forward tonight!!!!

For your enjoyment, here are 13 things you probably didn't know about Daylight Saving Time.

Book Review: Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Source
I just finished Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I loved the book and read it in only a few days. Elizabeth takes the reader on her journey to three countries that begin with I: Italy, India, and Indonesia. She travels to these three places after her divorce from her husband. Finding herself in deep depression, she decides to go to Italy to study the Italian language, to India to study yoga and medication under her Guru, and to Indonesia to see a medicine man who a few years earlier told her to visit him again.

The book is divided into three parts according to each country.

The first part, Italy, is full of decadence and beauty. Elizabeth literally eats her way through the country, enjoying pasta and delicious-sounding meats. While she is there, she meets new friends and confronts her depression.

The second part, India, is more organic. Elizabeth goes to her Guru's Ashram where she learns how to meditate. She enters a difficult spiritual journey and the reader is taken though her experiences as she participates in the daily rituals of an Ashram. As someone who has practiced yoga in the past, I loved reading about her experiences. Meditation is very difficult and I very much enjoyed reading about her spiritual journey.

The third part, Indonesia, is full of love. This experience is all about Elizabeth's making friends and meeting her now-husband.

I enjoyed the book because I love reading about other people's experiences traveling. Elizabeth had many funny encounters. Also, this book was definitely a light read. The book focused on her journey to happiness, and had lots of passages that I loved.

In one scene, a medicine man in Bali tells Elizabeth that she should meditate with a smile on her face. He said that her smile should be so great that even her liver is smiling. I loved that thought.

I also loved this passage from page 260 of my book:

I keep remembering one of my Guru's teachings about happiness. She says that people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't, you will leak away your innate contentment. It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments.
Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love, Penguin Books, 2006, page 260.

Have you ever read Eat Pray Love? What do you think about it?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fun Thing Friday: Urban Decay Eye Primer Potion


Urban Decay Eye Primer Potion is a.maz.ing. I have heard so many people recommend it and now I have to stand by the awesomeness of the formula! It keeps my eye makeup on all day long--and I use really cheap eye makeup (see my post about E.L.F. cosmetics).

I'll be sporting it tonight when I go out with some of my law school buddies! We are going to graduate in about two months, so I would say that it is time for a celebration! Cheers!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

From Paco


The sea is so wide and my boat is so small! Help me to not be scared of this scary storm!

Dun dun dunnnnnnnn....

I have decided to run another half marathon. This half marathon will be in a city near me and will hopefully be another great experience! It is so true that once you run a big race like a marathon or a half marathon, you want to do it again and again! Again, I'm going to run it with my friend Julie in June.

Unfortunately my training is not going so well. I have been sick for the past week and never exercise when I'm sick to allow my body to recover. So, I don't think I've been running in the past week or so. Boo.

Have you ever considered running a marathon or a half marathon? You should!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Travel Tuesday: SPRING BREAKKKKKKK!!

Whenever parents hear the words "Spring Break", they cringe. I had so many fun spring breaks during college (and a fun one in law school as well!). Now a lot of my friends are on the brink of their spring break, so I thought that I would write about it (alas, this year my break consists of working...). I'm going in reverse order because I don't have the energy to redo the order of these pics.

Last year we went to Paris for spring break with my brother. It was so much fun: we had a lovely time larking around Paris for a week (I told my husband before we went that it was the trip of all trips---after I saw everything in Paris on our trip my Paris bug would be scratched and we could focus on other trips, but of course going just made me want to go back. It is one of my favorite cities.).
My senior year of college, my friends and I went to Las Vegas, which was amazingly fun. I LOVED Vegas. We stayed in my friend's parents' condo and shuttled to and from the strip during the day.
My favorite gambling? Penny slots. I am definitely not a gambler. The machines here are called "Totally Puzzled?!", which pretty much sums up my gambling knowledge:
The year before that my friend Colleen and I were in Europe, and we went on a spring break trip to London, Dublin, and Paris. Here I am on the Prime Meridian. Again, we had a great trip filled with craziness, from getting lost in London to locating our Paris hotel at 1 a.m. to meeting a great Irish friend.
The year before that, my parents made it clear that if I so much as said "beach" and "spring break" in the same sentence I would not be going, so a group of friends and I went to South Padre and Monterrey, Mexico over winter break. Sneaky, huh?
Finally, our freshman year, we went to the Lake of the Ozarks for spring break. Not too crazy, but I'm sure that my parents had images of debauchery floating in their heads when I went on this trip. No worries, Mom and Dad, the worst thing that happened was that we set the smoke alarm off in the condo:
(Don't you love the fact that I am fanning the smoke alarm with Vogue?)

What did you do over your spring breaks?

Monday, March 08, 2010

Ah!

I almost let Monday sneak by without telling you all what I would be eating all week. I'm sure you were on the edge of your seat. :P

Monday: Ham and Bean Soup (Delicious; white beans, ham, onion, salt, pepper, and chicken broth. That's it. Simmer in a crock pot for hours.)
Tuesday: Salad for moi
Wednesday: I need to make and eat an eggplant that I've had in my fridge for quite a while, so I will probably do that.
Thursday: out to eat
Friday: Salad and shrimp
Saturday: The Pioneer Woman may have convinced me to try my hand at Chicken Piccata again, which will hopefully turn out better than this disaster.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Bad Idea

Note to self: never, ever, ever again take cough syrup in the morning.


You will feel loopy all. day. long.


Bad idea.

Fun Thing Friday: OK Go Video

My friend Julie alerted me to this video, and I was writing my Fun Thing Friday post, so I figured that it was too fun to pass up. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Blooper

Thorina just published a blog post by stepping on my computer. That's kind of impressive for a cat, so I am keeping it up.

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Enough sleep


Getting ready for bed

This morning I woke to my GOOP newsletter in my inbox. The subject? Getting enough sleep.

I love sleeping. Of course, everybody else does as well. I find it interesting to hear about other people's sleeping patterns. I like to fall asleep at around 10 p.m. and wake at around 6 a.m. I am someone who needs a good night's sleep in order to function (I am proud to say that I have never pulled an all-nighter to study for anything). If I reach a point where I need to study or go to sleep, I always choose sleep because without it I simply cannot function and it would not matter if I studied the night away because I would never remember the information.

David, on the other hand, loves to pull all-nighters to study. He can run on so little sleep that it makes me jealous. While he could fall asleep in the middle of a speaker or in an exciting public place, I need quiet, darkness, and stillness to sleep. I always joke with him that his sleeping patterns are a result of his being the third in a line of four children, so he had no choice but to learn to sleep in the middle of noise. I, however, was an only child for four years and had one brother, so my sleeping habits were more carefully cultivated.

What are your sleeping habits?

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Sickly.

I feel sick today, so I am not going to post my regular Workout Wednesday post. I am sorry that posting has been light this week, but I have been busy with other things.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Travel Tuesday: Etiquette

I love this post by The Entertaining House about Travel Etiquette.

Etiquette is so important while traveling. Americans often have the mentality that everybody else needs to know English and that if they need to cater to us. However, this is, of course, not true.

What are your travel etiquette tips?

Monday, March 01, 2010

Menu Monday

I have no recipe this week because quite honestly I have been a bad cook this weekend. Yesterday I literally threw a pork loin in the oven for my husband without even seasoning it.

Menu Monday
Monday: salmon and salad
Tuesday: I have an event, so David will eat leftovers
Wednesday: shrimp and asparagus
Thursday: sausage and pasta
Friday: tuna casserole