Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dinner a la me

The other night I made dinner for my hubs.

Don't get too excited, I really didn't have the energy to be that creative. 

Here's what I made:
Brussel Spouts
I typically parboil my brussels first so that they cook all the way through and a little faster. Then, I roasted them in some chopped garlic, oil and sea salt.
I also fried up some bacon and toasted the chopped walnuts in the bacon grease(yes, I know, not exactly healthy, shame on me!)

Then, I tossed them all together, YUMMERS!

I also made boiled potatoes, boring I know. 

For dessert, Ghiradelli brownies! Yes Please!

Beautiful sear on my steak, thanks to the hubs. Usually I grill, but it was displaced, as in not right outside my back door.

 Here's the finished product. Grilled steak, boiled potatoes and roasted brussels with bacon and walnuts- I think that was the most exciting part of the dinner. 

Later this week I'm going to dabble in grilling a rack of lamb. If anyone has any tips....and or recipes....send them my way!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Oh a hunting we will go

Here we go, on our adventure. I suppose venturing out into the forest would be much more adventurous, but never-the-less the Christmas Tree Farm is good enough for us city dwellers.

We decided that we would go and cut down our tree. I, of course researched what was the best type of tree to cut down, which one would last the longest and of course smell amazing.  It seems like firs have the best scent and that a concolor fir would last the longest. Unfortunately when we got to the tree farm they stated that they only had about 12 of those trees left. So, instead I decided  to trek down another tree.  We ended up with a balsam fir, after much hunting for the "perfect" tree.  We aren't very tall people and with a step stool I can just barely reach the top. 
Pulling while Gary saws away.


We went with our good friends, John and Jenna, our trees were not far away from each other.  We did however both underestimate how wide our trees were. Out in nature they look so small.....

Family photo opportunity prior to cutting it down.

It took Gary and John awhile to saw down those trees.  I think the saws that they provided have been dulled by the many uses. 
Gary and John working diligently to cut down their tree. 

I had to buy a lot more ornaments at my favorite arts and crafts store, Michael's. We, of course has none except, our special ornaments. Gary and I have gone to NYC every Christmas and have since 2002.  We usually buy a special ornament from Sax or Bergdorf - it's about the only thing that we can afford there, but it's now part of our tradition....can you tell that I love traditions?! Gary has also begun to buy me a special Hallmark ornament each year, which I dearly treasure.  So, almost a week after buying our tree it is finally officially complete!


Apparently the animals also enjoy the beauty of the tree, or maybe the just feel like they are outside. Thankfully, no one has tried to climb it and or pee on it.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

It's the most wonderful time...

In case you weren't aware, I am a big fan of the Christmas season.  I love the lights and the red and green colors and.....now I finally have a house house, so to speak which I can decorate to my hearts content.  Well without going overboard.  I love that the city is being decorated for Christmas. It in no way can compare to NYC, but, as Patrick Stump says, "This City, is my City."

This picture is from Union Station. They have 3 huge wreaths hanging up out front. I love how many lights adorn it.  

Here are our decorations. :-) We have stairs! Which means I get to decorate the banister with my lit garland. I can't decide whether or not I want to put up Christmas stockings, will it be too much?

 We have lots of windows, well 5 in the front and I've always wanted to hang wreaths on the windows. I made the bows all by my self, no pre-made ribbons. Let's just hope that they stay together. I also wired on the little decorations.  I didn't create them, but my good ol' friend Michael's did:-)

Michaels and I have become good friends(the arts and crafts store).     We don't have a dining room table yet, so I can't buy table cloths or center pieces, yet...don't worry, it will come.  My one friend has inspired me to be a little more crafty this season and do some DIY projects.  I originally purchased wooden letters (N-O-E-L), which I would paint and then hang on ribbons, but I couldn't figure out a place to display them, so instead I bought some canvas and some acrylic paint and voila! I'm excited to paint more! It is kind of therapeutic.

We also have a little Christmas tree that used to be our only Christmas tree, but this year we'll get the real deal. My mother decorated it all up, she's super crafty. 

And....of course I can't decorate without my poinsettia.

We have a front porch too. I got a whole bunch of Christmas tree branches from the hardware store and started to make my own garlands.  I'm waiting for my mother to come to help me out a little more. Hopefully she can work her artistic magic.  I also have a TON of lights that I purchased from Target to use on the porch.  AND.....Sunday we are going to start a new tradition and cut down our first Christmas tree. I've been doing my research.  We're going with our good friends, Jenna and John. I'll post pictures of our adventure.  

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tis the season

Well, it's almost December..... which means:

Red and Green decorations
Baking cookies (prepare for recipes to come)
Secret Santa
Christmas scented candles

Running in Cold weather...brr....but I love it! I busted out the cold weather gear yesterday. It was actually cold enough to see my breath.  Cold weather def takes my breath away, but I felt pretty good yesterday considering.

Saturday I hiked with the hubs, SIL and future BIL with our dogs, the pup, Pepe, Belle and their hunting dog, Leroy- or as we like to call him, Leh-roy(accent on leh).  We didn't do anything too extensive. It was cold and Pepe has short little legs, but he was a trooper and did really well, we even let him off leash.  

BTW I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, full of Turkey and family and friends.  The only thing I was not thankful for was the amount of traffic we hit going up to the in-laws.  In boredom, we let Pepe drive. He'd be great, if only his legs would reach the peddles.  

After our cold and longish hike we went home and had lunch.  Then we went to play Turkey Tackle, AKA football.  Boys could tackle boys and girls could tackle girls.  Unfortunately there weren't that many girls playing maybe one on each team. There were four teams, which meant we had to play several games and of course it started to flurry whilest we played.  Let's just say, when the QB did actually did throw to a girl, me, I sucked and had super buttery fingers.  Bumming, at least I'm ok at defense, mostly. I missed a tackle on my SIL. Our last game that we played I was to guard some guy named "Big Country." Yes, it's exactly how it sounds and man could he run and cut all over. Fortunately I didn't have to tackle him, just two-hand touch him.  But let me tell you, I was SORE afterwards for a few days which is crazy because I wasn't tackled and no one tackled me.  I felt like I had run a 1/2 marathon.  Oh, my old age!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Favorite Parts of this Season


Fall is not my favorite season although there are definitely aspects of every season that I love.  
Favorites of this season:
  • -apple picking
  • - barlett pears
  • - the beautiful leaves, as they change color
  • -cooler weather
  • -cute scarves
  • -boots
  • - pumpkins
I told Gary to hold up a pumpkin, this is what he chose(he clearly hates pictures). And yes, there were bugs coming out of that disgusting thing.  Sorry pumpkin, you are unwanted.
 I feel like I should be wearing Snow White's evil stepmother's costume and maybe not smiling. Just one little bite.

Since Gary and I had off today(thanks Hurricane Sandy) I thought it perfect to carve our pumpkins, well pumpkin, it took me forever just to do one. In hindsight I probably should have started yesterday. 

We have a bunch of pumpkin stencils, but we've used most of them.  I bought one of those kits a few years ago that came with two carving knives and a scoop.  Gary always gets frustrated that it doesn't scoop well so this year I bought a large metal scoop with "teeth"  from Michaels.  A lot easier I believe.  

I give him the job of opening up the top and scooping out the inside.  Then it is up to me to trace on the design and use my meticulous cutting skills to carve our pumpkin.  
For some reason I wanted to a Disney Pumpkin. I love everything Disney!  I really do love Disney World too, I almost think it is better without kids. haha, maybe I'm wrong......Here's my finished product. It needs a little more fine tuning, there is still a lot of pulp.

I also get the joy of cleaning off all the pulp from the seeds and seasoning and roasting them.  I love roasted pumpkin seeds.  If you have never done it before, you should.  You can season them with all different toppings. 

This year I did half with cayenne and half with garlic.
Of course they are all seasoned with melted butter and salt. You can of course substitute oil for the butter. But there is just something about the taste of real butter.  

So as I speak those delicious little seeds are roasting away in the oven, smells super yummy!  

What are your favorite things to do in the fall?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Attempting to outrun Sandy

First of all, sooo thankful that Hurricane Sandy didn't rear her ugly wetness until later yesterday evening!  

I was praying that we wouldn't be running in a torrential downpour.  I am pretty sure that the other 2 people running "with" me would have dropped out.  They would have however been forced to be a spectator and would have gotten soaked anyway.  

I figured if it was raining, maybe, just maybe it would make me run faster.  You know because I was so miserable from the rain and or coldness.  Thankfully we didn't have to find out if it would have made me run faster.  

Meg and I picked up our packets kinda late on Saturday.  Usually I like to get to the Expos earlier, a few more freebies and what not.  But she couldn't make it down until Saturday and I was pretty busy the last few days.
I actually didn't buy much.  I know right, shocking!! I did however purchase a new running skirt.  It's super cute, has all the different runs that a person can do, 10K, 13.1, 70.3....most of them I will never do, but one can dream right?!
No one wanted to wake up yesterday morning and Gary is super grumpy pants early in the morning, especially when he doesn't get his coffee.  Thankfully the race was here in DC so we didn't have to get up so early I couldn't function.  
Last year Gary and I signed up for the MCM 10K, this was our first "long" race and from there we've done the 10 miler and half marathon.  I think that the 10K is one of my favorites. I always get teary eyed during this race.  People's shirts are just so touching and the people running the race are quite inspiring.  If veterans can accomplish amazing feats, than I can do a measly 6.2 miles. I also admire marathoners. I often think "I could do it."  and sure, I "could" do it, but I'm not sure I want to do it.  Not to mention that both after and during a 1/2 marathon I do not feel that I could do a full. LOL!

Since we've moved to our new place (which, so far is water proof) the metro is much closer and thankfully the metro line by us ran us straight to the starting line.  This year was not as cold as it was last year, thankfully.  Last year Gary and I had to buy extra clothing as it snowed the day before and we were not "experienced" runners. And yes people, it is true, bridges do freeze before the roads.  We slipped and slid around last year.  I ran in leggings, gloves, head ear warmer thing.  This time, I wore a new skirt, from running skirts.  They were at the Expo and my green Northface long sleeve shirt.  I also wore my my Fit Approach pink shoe laces!

Does anyone else always have to go to the bathroom when you get to a race?! I do!  It's annoying and despite going multiple times at home when I see those green rectangle boxes my bladder goes, "take me there!"  However, yesterday, when I saw the lines....I told myself I could suck it up, that there would be other potties along the way.  HA! That's one complaint.  There were not enough port-o-potties.  At mile 5 there were tons, but I think only because that was around where the marathon began.  So I took a little detour which included opening the door on some poor unsuspecting victim,  though I do say it was his own fault since he didn't even lock it! Positive: Love having the Marines out supporting all the runners "Ooorah!"

So proud of my girl Meg! In May she and my other bestie T did their first run with me the Race for Hope 5K supporting brain tumor research. This was her first longish run and I am not trying to convince her to do that 1/2 in March.  If you are reading this, DO it! Sign up, here's the link for a little extra help:-) 

I enjoyed this run.  Tons of people, lots of energy.  I also enjoy running on the highway lol.  I did PR too. Pretty excited about that! And victory Sandy stayed away so that all marathoners an 10Kers could finish safely!

A few pictures from the day.
On your mark, get set, GO!  
 Finished, there's my boo waiting for me!

 So proud of my girl!  You do it! Now get ready for our half marathon!

This is how I felt afterwards....too bad I couldn't do too much of that and instead had to prepare for Hurricane Sandy!
Looks like he just ran 6 miles haha, if only. The day will come my little friend when you will be my running buddy. Get ready!

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