Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!

I apologize for the sub-par blog posts for the last week or so, but I pre-wrote everything because we were on a vacation...a Roman Holiday!  David and I went to Italy with my family for Christmas this year.  We had a fabulous time...a once in a lifetime experience to have with my family that I am so thankful I was able to experience.  The highlight was celebrating Midnight Mass at St. Peter's Basilica with the Pope.

For now, I am going to sign off of the blog for the year.  For the last few days of 2011, I plan to relax and celebrate with friends and family.  2011 has been a weird year.  For lots of our friends, 2011 was a great year.  However, some of our friends have had some hard things happen this year.  This New Year's, my heart is thinking of them and how difficult it was for them to get through the holiday season.  But still, we were all lucky enough to wake up and experience the hard and the good things that go along with life and the New Year.  For that, we are blessed.  We all have so many things for which to be thankful.

On New Year's Eve, close to midnight, I will think of all of the people who have been a part of my life, old friends who influenced me during a certain part of my life, new friends who teach me new things every day, and my family.  When the ball drops, before I kiss my sweetheart, I will send a little wish that they all have a wonderful New Year.  Happy New Year to you and yours.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Card Outtakes

Everybody looks good except Thorina, who is having a mini-breakdown.
 We love sending out Christmas Card pictures every year and always have some funny outtakes.
All of the animals are saying, "why do we have to do this again?!"

David and I trying to reel in the animals.
Our actual card:
Merry Christmas from Chick in the Czech!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Movies

David and I have a tradition of watching a few Christmas movies every year.  Here is our list.  What is yours?

1.  Christmas Vacation
Poor Clark.

2.  It's A Wonderful Life
 I love this movie because it gets me into the Christmas spirit and is probably the most classic Christmas movie.  
3.  Love Actually
Don't you love the part where "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" by Otis Redding is playing and everybody resolves their issues a bit on Christmas Eve?  That is my favorite sequence.  It turns into the part where the friend holds up the signs for the girl he loves, which is one of my favorite love stories of the movie. 

4.  The Holiday
David doesn't really love this movie, but I like it!
5.  Holiday Inn
 Another old classic that I love watching around the New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011

David and I had a lot of fun getting each other gifts for Christmas.  We don't really go all out for Christmas, but we do try to surprise each other with a little something for Christmas. 

Source
David got me the above robe and these slippers that I have been wanting for a while:






Did you get any good gifts for Christmas?



Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you and yours. 

Source

Friday, December 23, 2011

Don't forget our Favorite Christmas Special!



My favorite line: "How did you know I needed a kitty on my lap?" 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kitty...

Kitty Arwen keeps taking the stockings from under the tree (we just throw them under the tree because we don't have very nice stockings anyway) and carrying them around the house.  We told her that if she continues to do this she will confuse Santa and he won't be able to bring her presents! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Havel dies

Vaclav Havel, the former Czech president, died on Sunday.  You should read about his life and influence in Europe here or here.  Apparently many believed that he should have won the Nobel Peace Prize.  Having named my blog Chick in the Czech after the country of which he was president, I figured that I should keep you apprised of the news of the Czech. 


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Graduation

We had a great weekend.  On Friday my brother graduated from college!  We went to see his ceremony and then my parents hosted a nice meal at his college house for everybody who went to the ceremony.  On Friday night, we went out with my family and had a fun supper.  Then, on Saturday morning, I hosted a brunch in his honor at my house!  David was gone on Saturday because his brother also graduated from college that day and David went to his ceremony.  His entire family came into town that afternoon so that his parents could baby-sit his sister's kids that evening. 

After going to mass on Saturday evening and having dinner with David's family, David and I went out with David's brother and met our old friend Matt (the one with the blog who teaches in Abu Dhabi)!  Seeing them was a ton of fun.  On Sunday, we took the day to simply relax.  I ran a really long run because it was so nice outside, and then that evening we watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.  So fun!  How was your weekend?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Fast Holiday Decorations

This weekend I needed to come up with a fast holiday decoration.  We were having guests visit and I realized that I did not have a centerpiece for my table!

Luckily I got this bowl for my wedding.

Source
And also luckily, I bought a bunch of shatterproof ornaments last year in gold.  So, I just filled the bowl and put it in the middle of the table for the centerpiece:




Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Santa Baby

Yes, this is a bit small for the pup.
Thorina and Arwen have been developing their Christmas list for Santa.  They think that they have been good throughout the year and deserves some Christmas presents.  Santa (Paco) questions this but he said that they could still write their Christmas lists.  Unfortunately for Santa, they got their paws on the Christmas Tiffany catalog:
 Thorina especially loves the Tiffany Key necklaces....in diamonds, please:
 Arwen has more modest tastes.  She really liked the bow necklaces:
 Or maybe some nice cute pearl bracelets:
Santa thinks that these kitties are dreaming too big, considering that they have knocked ornaments off a display, knocked the sheep off the Nativity set, and drink out of the toilet.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our Weekend

We had a great weekend!  On Friday evening we went to see the Nutcracker at the Kauffman Center.  It was a lot of fun!  David and I really enjoyed going out on a date night for the holidays.  We haven't been to the new Center yet, so it was fun to see the building.  It was also fun to see the production.  My favorite part is the second act, when all of the famous dances happen.

 On Saturday I went to yoga and did a little Christmas shopping...which reminded me of why I enjoy shopping online mostly!  The lines were huge at one store in particular, but I don't want to reveal where I went because I may spill one of Santa's secrets!

Finally, on Saturday evening, we went out to eat with some friends that we haven't seen in a while.  We went to Jazz, a Cajun-themed place here in Kansas City that David and I loved.  It was fun to see them and we enjoyed the food.  After that was over, we drove around town to look at Christmas lights, which was fun!  The lights were gorgeous on some houses.  We ended our evening here:

This guy made a LED Christmas tree that lit up with music that he put on the radio.  It was really amazing. 

I can't believe that Christmas is already so close.  I really enjoy slowing down and enjoying the holidays, and this year I have been trying to remind myself to stop and enjoy the Christmas lights, cold weather, and delicious sweet treats.  My favorite part of Christmas is the decorations.  I love coming home to our Christmas tree lit up and decorated.  What is your favorite part?


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hot Cocoa Cookies

This past weekend I was in the mood to make Christmas cookies.  I saw this recipe on Pinterest and had to try them.  I love Marshmallows and smore-like-tastes.  The cookies were absolutely divine! 
Instead of making them all at once, I rolled up the cookie dough into little balls and froze them.  I plan to take them out of the freezer and make the cookies as we want them. 
Ohhhh yum....even though I didn't make them all at once I could have!  That ooey gooey center was delicious.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Nativity

Yet again, our animals are defacing our nativity set.  Seriously, if you put a religious article in our home our cats are extremely quick to hop on it, bat it, or otherwise destroy it.  This year, they have focused on one particular sheep in the set.  When we get home, we note that the sheep is on the floor under the nativity set, and a cat is usually sitting next to it.  Okay, I kid.  It is really just one cat: Thorina. 

How can she possibly go through the entire set and pick out one particular sheep?  I put it in different places and yet on multiple days it was the one on the floor.  Sheesh.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Our Holiday party


As promised, here are the details from our holiday party:
Theme
The theme for our party was a United Nations of beers party.  In the invitation we asked everybody to bring a six pack of beer from a different country around the world.  During the party everybody exchanges beer so that each guest ends up with a six pack of various beers from around the world. 

Invitations
This year I decided to keep it simple and send a Facebook invitation.  I like the simplicity of FB invites, but honestly it is really fun to get an invitation in the mail!  Next year I think we will send paper invitations.  Another issue I noticed was that some people don't really check Facebook much, so they did not see the invitation until the last minute.  Some of those people were able to make it, but I think that sending paper invitations would ensure that everybody receives them.  Plus, it is always fun to get mail!

Menu
The party started at 8:00 p.m., so the plan was to serve light appetizers.  I made the following:
  • meatballs (surprise, surprise!  Haha!)
    • Honestly, these were kind of a waste to make.  I have decided that people aren't really comfortable with lifting a crock pot lid (especially when it is on and hot) to get things out of a crock pot (at least I certainly always feel that way at a party!).  So, while serving some kind of meat is probably a good idea, I don't think I will serve mine in a crock pot again.  
    • Last year we served bourbon weenies and they went over much better.
  • caramel popcorn (this deserves its own post)
    • One word: yum.  Look for this tomorrow!
  • chips and pineapple salsa (from Trader Joe's)
    • This went over very well.  Everybody likes salsa and chips!
  • olives 
    • Nobody ate these, so they were probably a waste to put out.  However, I just had them in my fridge and I really like them, so I sat them out.  After the party I just put them back so it really wasn't a huge deal.
  • meat and cheese plate
    • Every year, this seems to be people's favorite thing.  I like to buy salami from the store deli counter, "fancy" cheeses, and "fancy" crackers.  I sometimes also buy pepperoni, which people seem to like.  
Other people brought some cheesy dips, which people really enjoyed.  Those types of dips aren't my forte since I don't love cheese, so I am always happy when people bring them!  We moved the party from the upstairs to our basement midway through the evening, so it was great to simply pick up the dips and carry them downstairs.  

Drinks
Besides the beer, we served Christmas cookie martinis (one part vanilla vodka, one part butternut schnapps, one part Bailey's).  Everybody loves those!

Games 
We played flip cup and Trivial Pursuit, which is a bit of a tradition at our Christmas parties! 

Overall I think that everything went well, so that was good.  I can't wait for next year's party!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Our weekend

Last Friday we hosted holiday party.  It was a lot of fun!  Last year we hosted a party, so we decided to have one again this year.  It seemed a bit early for having a party themed around Christmas, but it was great to have an excuse to get into the Christmas spirit!

The most hilarious thing that happened was that we were rushing around at round 7:00 (the party started at 8) and I looked at our heater and noted that the thermostat was completely blank.  During the week this happened once and we just poked a button or two and it came back on.  Well, the poking didn't work this time, so of course I started to go nuts thinking that we would all be freezing at the party.  Luckily someone in our relationship is sane (David), so he called a heating company who sent a nice man out ASAP.  The heater was completely fixed before our second guests arrived!  Hooray!  

On Saturday we slept in (it was the first time in a very, very long time that I haven't set an alarm....I woke up at 9:10 a.m.!  Glorious!) and cleaned.  That evening I went to my annual yoga Christmas party at my yoga teacher's house, which was really fun.  If you put a lot of Bikram yoga students into a room together the conversation sounds like this:

"What is your favorite posture?"

"I also really, really hate head to knee pose!"

Most people probably wouldn't have a ton of fun at that event.  :)

Then, on Sunday, we hung around and caught up on the work we needed to finish before the week started!  How was your weekend?

Monday, December 05, 2011

Meatball Subs

One of our favorite dinners is meatball subs.  The recipe is pretty easy, really.  I do not love frozen meatballs, so I usually make mine homemade.

My favorite recipe is from this soup recipe.  I simply make the meatballs and then add some red sauce.  Normally, I add oregano, crushed red pepper, some sugar, basil, and a dash of salt to the red sauce.

Then, I buy a loaf of crusty store-bought bread, cut it in half, spread it with oregano and olive oil, and toast it in the oven at 350 for about 10-20 minutes (I just watch it to see when it is finished).

The result is a crunchy and chewy meaty sandwich (by the way, we have figured out that the sandwich is better if the meatballs are cut in half...it is much easier to handle).  This makes a delicious weeknight meal that everybody is sure to enjoy!

I have to admit that my blog posting has been rather sparse lately.  We have just been very busy, and sometimes life prevents me from keeping up with the blogging.  The Thanksgiving holiday has already come and gone, so sometimes I just like to give up a few duties in order to enjoy doing other things with family and friends.  So, please forgive me if the blog is neglected!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Getting Ready for Christmas!

On Sunday we had our annual tradition of getting ready for Christmas by decorating our house the weekend after Thanksgiving!  It was a lot of fun and we watched It's A Wonderful Life, which is one of my very favorite Christmas movies.  Doesn't the ending get you every single time?  What a great movie.  
We had a debate in our house about putting up more than one Christmas tree.  I wanted to put one in the basement this year, but instead we decided to defer buying one until after the holiday season with the hopes of finding one on sale.  Do you decorate multiple trees in your house?  We certainly get into the Christmas spirit around here by decorating and blasting Christmas music during the evenings.  It is Paco's favorite holiday!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New Old Favorite

I just love Christmas songs!  And right now this is one of my favorites:


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Our Thanksgiving

We had yet another wonderful holiday weekend.  On Wednesday, we traveled to my parents' house and enjoyed taco salads for supper with my family.  On Thursday, we ran in the Turkey Trot, where I did pretty well (for me...my time was 26:33 for a 5k!  Yay!), but yet again came out empty handed.  Boo.  David, however, won a sack of potatoes for getting second in his age group, so that was awesome!  I told him that he was helping out with groceries.  Everybody but myself won a prize.

After that, we went to my grandma's house where we enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving feast.  She is such a great cook and makes everything from scratch.  My favorite thing this year?  Actually, it was the blueberry pie she made for dessert.  YUM!  So tasty.

After we stuffed ourselves silly, we traveled to the Lake of the Ozarks, where David's parents rented a house for David's siblings to meet and enjoy the holiday.  We had a relaxing weekend, eating way too much and playing games.  We were all entertained by David's nieces and nephew, who are really adorable.

I am so happy that our families get along so well and our holidays are so easy and relaxing.  We had a great time at both families and look forward to next year!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving

Do you remember when you were in school and learned all about Thanksgiving?  I thought that it would be fun to recall the facts we learned in Social Studies, so I read the Wikipedia article on Thanksgiving!  So fun! 

Blue Eyed Bride posted these questions so I thought that it would be fun to answer them!  Comment with yours!

1. Do you eat stuffing or dressing? Stuffing!
2. Did you ever dress up as a pilgrim at school? (I did!  Every year, all of the Kindergarten classes in my school got together and dressed up as either Indians or Pilgrims.  I was a pilgrim.  The school invited the support staff to a Thanksgiving dinner and the paper would always take a picture of the class.  I remember my Grandma coming to the lunch (she was my school nurse), so that made me feel extra special!  It is a little tradition in my town.)
3. What is your favorite dish at Thanksgiving?  I enjoy the stuffing piled high with gravy....oh, and rolls....and casseroles.....this could go on forever.  I love Thanksgiving meal!
4. Are you all about the turkey? Or all about the sides? (The SIDES)
5. Do you have a pumpkin pie at your house? Do you eat it? (Yes!  We always have a pumpkin pie because my Grandma makes it.  It is very delicious and I look forward to it all year long!)
6. Do you watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in your pajamas while cooking every year? (I don't cook, but I watch it in the morning!  It really makes me feel like it is the holiday time!)
7. What other traditions do you associate with Thanksgiving? (The weekend after Thanksgiving, David and I decorate our house for Christmas, which I love!)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful for the little things

I am thankful that this kitty always gets into trouble and makes us laugh...
I am thankful that this puppy always wants to do the right thing and makes us both so happy....


I am thankful that this kitty is so affectionate and loves me unconditionally.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankfulness

Every year during Thanksgiving week, I like to take some time to think about the things about which I should feel thankful.  The biggest thing about which I am thankful is my family.  I have such a supportive family who is always there for me in my times of need  My husband helps me achieve any goal I have, my parents would do anything for me, and my other family members always lend a helpful hand.





Thursday, November 17, 2011

Loving these songs right now

Two Door Cinema Club is awesome.  They remind me of Modest Mouse, which takes me back to the spring I studied abroad.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Frasier

http://image.com.com/tv/images/content_headers/program_new/70.jpg
I've been watching the show Frasier on Netflix ever since I finished The Office a few weeks ago.  Right now, I'm on Season 4 and loving it.  Seriously, I never realized how funny this show was.

My favorite thing about this show is that you don't need to really watch previous episodes in order to understand the current episode.  My favorite character is Niles...he is hilarious. 

Have you ever watched Frasier? 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Our weekend

We had another great weekend.  This weekend, it was fantastic to have time to sit and just relax.  I was off on Friday, which was amazing.  I really needed the day to relax and have a break from work.  I ran errands, got Paco a haircut, and went to Trader Joe's.  I really love our new Trader Joe's near our house, especially the frozen foods.  This time, I bought Egg Rolls and Orange Asian chicken, and I am really excited to try them! That night, we hung out at home and watched Bridesmaids.  It was really great to have a night alone with David just to relax!

On Saturday I went on a long run with David and then went out to eat lunch with a friend.  After that, I went home and cleaned, cleaned, and cleaned some more.  Then, after mass, we baby-sat for our nieces and nephews, which is always fun.  We made pigs in a blanket, pizza rolls, salad (!), and macaroni and cheese (Spongebob Squarepants style).  They LOVED the pigs in a blanket. Other favorite activities while baby-sitting include:

  • Tormenting Playing with the cats
  • Taking a bubble bath
  • Watching cartoons
  • Reading before bed
On Sunday, we hung out and I made a mega feast of chicken, stuffing, potato casserole, green bean casserole, and gravy.  I like to make a Thanksgiving-type feast a couple of weeks before the big day and after thinking about Thanksgiving I had a craving for the fixings!  I then decided that I am in fact turning into my mother because I watched The Trouble With Angels on Netflix (they just added it!), which is something my mom did every Sunday when I was growing up.

How was your weekend?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Back into the swing of things

I was sick a couple of weeks ago, and when I'm sick I really try hard not to run.  NOT running is almost as hard as running is (for me, anyway), because once your body gets used to the endorphins and the good feelings that come with exercise, it is really hard to go a few days without them.  I really think that one can be addicted to working out, and I definitely craved the feeling after a good workout when I was sick.

However, I also think that sickness sometimes comes on for a reason: I always seem to get sick when I'm too stressed, overworked, etc.  So, I took my sickly feelings as a sign that perhaps I should slow everything down a bit and I took about a week off from running.

The problem with this is that it is really, really hard to get back into a working out groove.  Especially when it is getting colder and colder outside.

I ran on my day off on Friday and it was an extremely tough run.  I went for about five miles, which is half of what I used to do at least once a week before I got sick.  Blah.  Then, on Saturday, David and I went on a 9-10 mile run, which was also really hard but felt really good.  I am glad that I have a partner who enjoys running as much as I do because it motivates me to go out and get moving.  I am hoping that I can get my groove back despite the very chilly temps.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day!


Happy Veterans Day to all of you vets out there!  Your service to our country is appreciated and you deserve a day of rest today.  I also think that the families of vets deserve a thank you as well.  I can't imagine the worry and other emotions that go along with having a family member in the service.  Thank you for all of your sacrifice!

I thought that I would share this version of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic".  We sung it in church this past weekend and it is one of my favorite patrotic songs!



Wednesday, November 09, 2011

I need this shirt

I really need this shirt.  Here is the description:


Here at ModCloth, we might not be doctors, but that doesn't mean we can't diagnose what ails you. Case in point, do you suffer from a severe compulsion for kitty-covered clothes? If the answer is yes, we think you might have caught a case of feline fever. But relax, we also possess the cure.

If anybody has kitty fever, I think it is me! 


Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Bad Cat

I was ashamed of Thorina's behavior this weekend.  She drank out of people's glasses, hit people, and most of all, she continuously got out of the garage door so she could streak outside when unsuspecting people walked into my house.  This cat was SO bad! 

It is very embarrassing to have a cat this bad when we have guests, so I tried to yell at her and "discipline" her.  How can I get her to behave like a real lady?!?!?!?!?!  ANY tips or tricks would be appreciated. 

Monday, November 07, 2011

Our Weekend: Ruckus Run!

We had a wonderful weekend this week.  David's family came to visit and we had them over at our house.  It was fun!  David's brother is visiting from his current home in South Korea, where he teaches English to kids. 

On Friday evening, we enjoyed chili and soup at our house and prepped for the race.  On Saturday, we woke up nice and early and ran in the Ruckus Run.  A Ruckus Run is basically a 5K including obstacles.  For instance, we had to forge a creek, climb through mud pits, scale walls, and jump over barricades.  It was exhausting but a ton of fun!  As you can see, we were very muddy after it was over!  Our strategy was to go through the run as a team, except for David's brother, who placed very nicely in the race overall.


After that was over, we ate lunch and tried to take some family portraits (of me, David, and the pets.  Note the emphasis on "tried").  When that was over, we went to look at the new house that David's sister is buying, which is really gorgeous.  Finally, we went out to eat at Waldo Pizza.

On Sunday after our company left, David and I took a long bike ride in the beautiful weather.  We cleaned the house a bit and then watched To Kill a Mockingbird.  I love that book, but I had not seen the movie since high school.  Atticus Finch is one of my very favorite characters. 

I hope you had a great weekend as well!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Brain Dump

  • I've been feeling sick this week, which is no fun at all.  Two days ago, I took my second (half) sick day from work.  Being at home sick is a sad reason to be home...I would much rather be my normal and healthy self working!  Alas, I had to come home to nap.  After a nap in the afternoon and eight hours of sleep, I was almost as good as new.  Yay!
  • Our Halloween was just wonderful and I can't believe that yesterday I took down all of my Halloween decorations and put up my (very few) Thanksgiving decorations.  Where does the time go?!?!?
  • Last night there was a torrential downpour at my house.  The forecast called for snow overnight.  
  • I've been in the mood for soups and want to try this Tuscan White Bean soup this weekend. 
  • I enjoy how Google does not end this sentence in a preposition:

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Leaving on a jet plane

Thorina has big plans for travel.  She wants to go to many different places, including Germeowny, Great Skitten, and Pawis. 

After she read this article about Jack the Cat, she now wants to see NYC. 

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Happy Halloween!

 I had a great Halloween weekend.  On Friday I went to my friend Julie's house where we watched the World Series!  The Cardinals won, which was so much fun to see.  Everybody was super excited and I saw a lot of people on the highway heading into STL.  What a perfect way to win!

On Saturday morning we ran a 10k called the Monster Mash Dash, which is where you dress up for the race.  We decided to go as Sesame Street---I was Oscar and we had Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and Elmo. 

The 10k was great:
 After that was over we went to Julie's house and napped.  We went out to eat and then started to get ready to go out!  I think that we dressed up pretty nicely, don't you?
 We had a fabulous time!!!  Thanks for the awesome weekend, girls!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_larvifvhhW1qc0xcno1_500.jpg
Have a spooooky day!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy (early) Halloween!

 If this kitty doesn't get you in the holiday spirit, I don't know what will. 
Again, Arwen is a little pink piglet and Paco is a green frog.  We'll see if I can catch Thorina to get her rooster outfit on her...I'm not sure that I will be able to do so. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Harvest Moon

The autumn is upon us. 
The trees outside my door have been turning, and I have been trying to enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the outdoors while I can.  While I love every season, and especially enjoy snuggling up during the wintertime, I am in no hurry to put this autumn behind me.  Therefore, I have been trying to enjoy time outside, walking and running, so that I can take advantage of the gorgeous weather.  

I love seeing the leaves changing and especially enjoy looking at the trees around my neighborhood.  Some are red, some are orange, some are yellow, and some refuse to turn color and simply stay green.  Seeing the trees reminds me of the little maple tree that David and I planted outside our first house and I wonder what that tree will see during its lifetime.  I also love seeing the trees on my way to work...they look like different colored cotton puffs on the hillsides.  

The sounds of autumn are also very distinct.  The leaves rustle whenever any creature happens to disturb them, thwarting any stealthy plans.  I especially enjoy the squirrels, who scamper and play while frantically gathering their food for the winter.  I also enjoy the sounds of people as they enjoy soccer games, football games, and seeing their neighbors outside one last time before the snows hit.  

Finally, I love the smells.  Fresh air is by far one of my favorite smells, and the cooler breeze is a refreshing change from the stuffy summer we enjoyed.  I also enjoy the smell of burning brush as I drive down the highway.  The refuse is being cleared for something else.

The weather makes me want to cook with pumpkin and snuggle.  This is one of the reasons I love fall...what a gorgeous season.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Coldplay

In celebration of Coldplay's new album Mylo Xyloto being released this week, I thought that I would share some of my favorite Coldplay songs.  I've had a fascination with Coldplay for a long time, so I find that the different albums that have been released correspond to periods of time in my life. I remember that I used to listen to Parachutes while on the school bus, riding to track meets and Quiz Bowl matches. When I listened to those songs, I wondered what my life had in store for me and what I would be when I grew up, who I would marry, and with whom I would become friends. This is one of my favorite songs from that album:
And then who could forget this awesome music video of Chris Martin walking around on a beach? I'm pretty sure that I had (have? ahem.) a crush on him for years.
Then, when I went to college, A Rush of Blood to the Head was out and I listened to those songs while I was running or hanging out with David. My very favorite one is called "Green Eyes", and (cue the rolling eyes) David sings it to me still (even though I maintain that I have blue eyes, David thinks that they look green most of the time). It is one of our special songs and reminds me of college.
After that, X&Y was released. I enjoyed the album, but frankly not many of the songs actually stand out to me, except "Til Kingdom Come", a cover of Johnny Cash:
Finally, in law school, Viva la Vida came out. I really liked Viva la Vida...it reminds me of a Beatles album for some reason. My favorite track on it is actually the second half of a different song. It is called "Reign of Love" and I feel a sense of calmness whenever I hear it.
I also really liked the track "Lost":

Are there any bands by which you measure the time periods in your life?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fall Cleaning

The seasons are changing again and that means that it is time to start fall cleaning!  I can't believe it is already time to start thinking about cleaning for the fall.  I have some motivation, though, because I am having some guests at the beginning of November.  Having people over motivates me to finish my big cleaning projects!

This past weekend I already started by totally cleaning the living room.  It took me three hours!  However, I got so much dirt and grime up during the cleaning session, so I felt good after it was over.  On Sunday, I cleaned out the insides of my kitchen cabinets.  

On Friday evening, I stayed at home and enjoyed a night in, and then on Saturday, I went to a Halloween party.  The party was a ton of fun and I'm sad that I didn't get any more pictures than one of me and my pets.  It was fun to get out and celebrate Halloween a little early!






Monday, October 24, 2011

Homemade Twix Bars

 Before I was a bridesmaid, I saw a recipe for these delicious Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars (otherwise known as homemade Twix bars) that looked simply delicious.  I HAD to try it but I decided to wait until AFTER I had finished fitting into my (very cute) bridesmaid dress. 

The bars did not disappoint and I ate these for days.  Now, I don't think real Twix bars are as good as the homemade version (but will still enjoy one in a pinch):
 I found the recipe here
This made a pretty big batch, so I sent some to work with David.  Now, I am regretting sharing these with anybody because they were so good!