Tuesday, March 31, 2009

foodie copy cat

Because I am a sucker for surveys and for anything involving food I copy catted a post from my cousin Emily (sanks Emmy!) who found it on allrecipes.com blog. Here goes!

1. How do you like your eggs? Scrambled please, and I only eat them when I've scrambled them myself or if my dad has scrambled them--yes, there is an art to scrambled eggs.

2. How do you take your coffee/tea? Coffee--organic french vanilla creamer (just enough to make it look a light brownish color). Tea--one pack of Stevia raw (a natural sweetener)

3. Favorite breakfast food: Week days: two scrambled eggs every morning. Weekend days: chocolate chip or banana pancakes!

4. Peanut butter: Smooth or crunchy? Crunchy mmm mmm (hubs turned me on to crunchy)--although I haven't eaten it in awhile because its got so much crap in it and even the organic version has a ton of fat in it.

5. What kind of dressing on your salad? If I'm acting like I care what I'm eating, balsamic vinaigrette. If I don't care, ranch please.

6. Coke or Pepsi? Diet Coke or Diet Mt. Dew (a pepsi product)

7. You’re feeling lazy, what do you make? Pasta with random things thrown in or homemade p-i-z-z-a.

8. You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order? Pepperoni or Hawaiian.

9. You feel like cooking. What do you make? Something from my Cooking Light magazine or something adventurous that I've been wanting to try. Tonight was herb stuffed chicken, steamed asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes!

10. Do any foods bring back good memories? Chocolate cake with chocolate icing reminds me of all of my birthdays spent with families and friends, bruschetta reminds me of times spent with Mom, Cissy and Katie; Mexican rice casserole makes me think of Dad and Ginny...and the last one is gingerbread cookies make me think of Katie.

11. Do any foods bring back bad memories? Slim Jims (I ate these so much when I was young and chubby...hmm coincidence? I think not). Other people's scrambled eggs and grits--too many bad experiences with those two things being runny and yucky--I only trust my own.

12. Do any foods remind you of someone?

  • Chips and salsa: Mom
  • Any type of pizza: husband
  • Edamame: Pam (first person to make me try it)
  • Flamen Ramen: Mom and Cissy
  • Popcorn: Dad
  • Pound cake batter: Teresa and Eva
  • Green Beans: Callie
  • Chick-fil-A meal: Emily Nance
  • Grocery store birthday cakes: Katie
  • KKD doughnuts: my cuzzie Emily

13. Is there a food you refuse to eat? Liver ewww and anything with the word "malt" in the title--gag me!

14. What was your favorite food as a child? Slim Jims (see above...and see pictures from my past) and potato chips (I rarely eat plain potato chips because of my chubby childhood).

15. Is there a food that you hated as a child but now like? Umm all vegetables and more "grown up" dishes.

16. Is there a food that you liked as a child but now hate? Umm my fave foods as a kid(see above), and I will say no thank you to all processed, meal- in-a-can dinners...also a no to fish sticks and almost all fast food.

17. Favorite fruit and vegetable: Pineapple and avocado (at the moment...it changes quite often)

18. Favorite junk food: Anything containing sugar, please :) And doritos

19. Favorite between meal snack: Reduced fat cheez its baby!!! Also, I try to eat fruit and occasionally some trail mix.

20. Do you have any weird food habits? I don't like leftovers...I'll eat something left over from a meal once, maybe twice if its some great dish but that rarely happens.

21. You’re on a diet. What food(s) do you fill up on? Fruits and veggies, basically good for you kind of stuff--duh.

22. You’re off your diet. Now what would you like? As stated above, ANYTHING containing SUGAR and basically anything that's bad for you, mmmmm.

23. How spicy do you order Indian/Thai? As little spice as possible, I'm a baby.

24. Can I get you a drink? Yes, a glass of merlot please and thank you.

25. Red or White Wine? Red, red, red, red!! And as dry as possible please!

26. Favorite dessert? Anything with chocolate. I rarely eat dessert that doesn't contain chocolate--its a waste to me.

27. The perfect nightcap? Hot tea or cold water.

Monday, March 30, 2009

hi, i have a social life now

So, I'm quite proud to announce that most of my week is booked!! I think that's the first time that I can officially say that since we moved up here in August. Well booked with actual people, not with painting the house or some other home improvement activity. Here is what I have planned (and yes, I'm posting it so that I'll actually follow through with things since I'll have to report back to you all about my experience):

  • Tomorrow night: Our realtor and her husband are coming over for dinner! She saw the house when it looked awful (aka before it was officially ours--and no it wasn't in bad shape, I just hated ALL of the colors) and now she's going to see it the way that I imagined it would be! Wahoo for progress! Oh and by the way I'm making yummy Herb Stuffed Chicken with steamed asparagus and homemade hollandaise sauce (will report back later on the outcome!)
  • Wednesday night: Chick Lit Book Club. So yes, I'll admit...I'm desperate to make friends, so of course I took two things I love, hanging out with people and books, and put them together! I found the Pittsburgh Chick Lit club which reads books with strong women characters in them (hello! can I find anything more that I love?!). I was hesitant because I did find it online but they're meeting at a Panera and there were plenty of pics of them on their book club website, all non-threatening looking women that range from my age to their 40s. So I hope it goes well! (Don't worry...you'll also hear a report on that)
  • Thursday night: Pilates class! Oh by the way, I went two weeks ago and it kicked my tail into next week! I LOVED it! I LOVEEEEE Pilates!!!!! I'm pretty sure that its my fave way to exercise! But yes, it was lots of fun but I was sore until the following Monday (can we say out of shape much?). And I'm brave enough to go again this week, wahoo, bring it on sore muscles!

bookworm to the rescue!

If you wanting another book suggestion, here's one: Six Hours One Friday by Max Lucado. After I finished the lovely "Barefoot" last night, I decided that my soul was thirsty for a spiritual book. And with the Easter season just around the bend (despite the small amount of snow that was so begrudgingly welcomed on my car this morning) I decided to pick up this book that my Mom handed off to me a few years ago. She raved about how great the book was, no surprise there, she's a huge Lucado fan. I've only read one of his small books--literally small it was like 4"x4" (I think it was a devotional--it was 4 years ago, see...my memory is already failing me) but I'm definitely hooked on this book! I'm finding that since I have a regular job these days and I'm no longer a free-loading college student that my life is more mundane and structured (against my will). With all of that to say (yes, I'm going on a serious note here people), I think that people who have regular, structured schedules have different struggles than others who have more flexible schedules (and yes I'm well aware that we all have different struggles). You may be wondering "what am I really contributing to?" or "what's my real purpose here?". I know that I've been entertaining those thoughts lately...and this book is great at reminding you what Jesus did for us and what that really means to a person. I can't stand books that sound like fire and brimstone preaching, Lucado is not like that at all, he's very realistic--you can tell that he wants people to feel connected to his book and in a bigger way for people to feel connected to Christ. I mean geez, I'm about to start the 5th chapter and I've already teared up twice. And yes, it was during one of my favorite New Testament stories, the woman at the well, he explained that story in very descriptive lamens terms for those of us who aren't Biblical scholars--just so we can understand it on a deeper level. Anyway, if you really want to get into the Easter spirit I suggest you pick this book up or just read the book of Matthew in the New Testament...forget the Easter bunny! (Except...Mom...just so you know, even though I'm "grown up" and married I will still be accepting Reese's eggs from the Easter bunny this year)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

rain, rain go away

I am TIRED of rain and cold weather, can I get an amen?! It seems to be the trend here that you get cold day after cold day and then some beautiful somewhat warm day only to be followed 2 days later with a chance of snow!! Again?! I don't want snow! It's almost April! I want warm, beautiful weather! Ugh, I am so sick of cold and rain and snow and whatever else can come of nasty weather! Go away! Bring me your warmth, bring me your sunshine, bring me your signs of life growing outside!! (A little Ellis Island anyone?) But yeah, I'm tired of it.

another book down

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've been reading Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand. I really, really liked this book! It was nothing short of 400 pages long and I found myself blowing through it with great ease. It's definitely a good book if you're going to the beach for a week or if you just want something to pick up at night. The story is about three women (2 sisters and 1 friend) who go to Nantucket for the summer. Each of them has their own story and their own drama that they're dealing with. You follow them through the summer, and as the summer progresses you get more hooked and find yourself wanting to know..."What happens next to Brenda?", "What was Vicki's response to that?", etc. It's nothing mindblowing, but it is a light read and if you're a woman reading it, I think you will be somewhat empowered and find some strength from it. The book was given to me as a gift from one of my friends at work and I was hesitant to read it because I had never heard of the author and the book was quite large, it seemed like a daunting to task to take it on. It was a wonderful book and I found myself longing for another book about these three women and their lives as well as a warm summer day on the beach! I give it 4 out of 5 stars!

mexican again, tonight?...yes please

For dinner tonight:
Southwest Shrimp and Corn Chowder
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped serrano chile (about 1 small)
  • 1 (4.5 oz.) can chopped green chiles, undrained
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen Southern-style hash brown potatoes, diced, thawed
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 (15.25 oz.) can whole-kernel corn with red and green peppers, drained
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined small shrimp
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell pepper, and serrano chile to pan; saute 2 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add canned chiles to pan; cook 1 minute. Add flour to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk and next 5 ingredients (through corn); bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick. Stir in shrimp; cook 1 minute or until shrimp are done. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro. Yield: 6 servings.

Calories: 212
Fat: 6.7 g.
Protein: 19.3 g.

I served it with cheese and green onion quesadillas. The whole meal was filling, healthy and delicious mmm mmm!!

PS-That's the picture that Cooking Light has listed (the recipe that I used) and yes, mine looked very much like that!! (can you sense the pride in my voice?)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

pics from last weekend

Our side of the table at dinner:

Their side of the table:

John and Teresa showing off their HUGE calzones:

Teresa was excited/amazed/afraid at how big it was:

Great view from Mt. Washington:

Us at Mt. Washington:

In front of the house right before we left for the airport:

A little closer:

Me and Callie before they left to go in the airport:

Me and T:

Monday, March 23, 2009

some extras

Here are a few extra pictures, they're rooms that were just fine and didn't need to be totally revamped.

Our basement:

Basement bathroom:

Our kitchen:

The front of our house:

before and after

Yes, that's right, you've asked for them...you've wanted them and here they are...BEFORE and AFTER PICTURES of the house!!! Enjoy :)

Living room before:

Living room after:

Office before:

Office after:

Guest bedroom before:

Guest bedroom after:

Dining room before:

Dining room after:

Master bedroom before (and during the process):

Master bedroom after:

The furniture in the master will be painted black and white soon...so the aqua will be long gone :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

snow pics

These are some old pictures from the snow in January. Sorry they're a little late, but here they are for your viewing pleasure :)

the backyard:

the front of the house:

from across the street:

our walkway, yeah imagine running down that in snow boots with two bags and a coffee mug trying not to miss your ride in the morning...

the view from our bedroom:

another view of the backyard:

a posting frenzy

It's either all or nothing with me and posting...you get one every once in awhile or you get a whole lot in one day! Anywho...here's the book that I'm currently reading:

I really, really like it...although the official book review will have to come after I'm done. It's definitely got me hooked (big surprise...any book with a storyline gets me hooked)! But anyway, I have only good things to say about it right now, and yes it's quite different from the ones I've been reading lately, well they're all different from the one before. But I will have a book review up very soon, at the rate that I'm reading it.

i love you, man

The movie that Teresa, Callie and I saw in the theater was I Love You, Man. It stars Karen from The Office and Mike (Phoebe's boyfriend, fiance, then husband) on FRIENDS. It was a great movie--very, very funny. However, brace yourself for the F word, because they use it A LOT. That was our only complaint about the movie, so I think I speak for the three of us when I say that I would give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

john's weekend

Need I say more? I think I've seen him off the couch twice this weekend. He deserves to be a couch potato though.

T & C visit

As you all know, my dear friends Teresa and Callie graced Pittsburgh with their presence this weekend. We had a blast! I was able to leave work early and pick them up from the airport, I then scooted them on over to our house so we could drop off their stuff and then we were off! We went to Shadyside (a really cute part of the city despite what the name may imply) to eat lunch and walk around cute shops, and we may or may not have stopped into a local bakery for a late afternoon treat. We came back and lounged around the house and had a late night dinner (to John's dismay). The rest of the weekend looked something like this: eat, sit around and talk, watch a movie, eat another snack, talk some more, take a shower, watch a movie at the theater, stop by Target, eat dinner, come home and talk some more. We had a great time! Its nice to be around old friends, when I'm around them it makes me feel like I just left Raleigh a week ago. They were so sweet and complimentary of the house and all of the work we've done to it (which made me feel good for all of the hours of work we've put into the house/hours of slowly reaching the cusp of insanity). I just had a really warm, comfy feeling the entire time they were here! I will post pictures once Teresa emails them to me. I thought that when I started a blog that would push me to take more pictures, however that is not the case...danget. But yeah, to summarize...it was a wonderful visit (thanks again T and Callie!)!!

In spite of the absence of pics from this weekend I figured I would post one of my fave pics of each of them from the wedding...and oh yes that is Teresa getting down at our wedding (my Mom's dear friend Tricia is the one next to her, also getting down).

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

luck of the irish

Happy late St. Patrick's Day people! Sorry for the late post, but let's be honest I can be a lazy blogger. This was my first St. Patrick's Day celebrated as an Irishwoman and I was very proud of my new last name yesterday :) I even wore green to work (I ALWAYS wear green on St. P Day). Apparently St. P Day is a HUGE deal in Pittsburgh, I guess because there are a lot of Irish folks here. Well, they have a huge parade the weekend before St. P Day and all of the bars are hoppin on St. P night (like I'm sure they are everywhere, it just seemed crazy here). Needless to say, someone had a midterm today so we couldn't go out and celebrate with green beer, not that we would anyway...let's be honest, we're not technically your typical party animals, and that coupled with being too cheap to buy beer at a pub (going for $6 a glass) usually equals not going out. Ohh the joys of being a young, married, cheap couple haha. However, my cousin posted this great Old Irish Blessing on her blog so I will copy it since I like it so much:

An Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

I would love it if someone (hint hint Katie) would paint this on something for me (since we know I have no artistic ability) so I could hang it up in my house...not that I'm dropping hints or anything. I hope you all had a great day and wore lots and lots of green!