Sunday, March 28, 2010

don't give up on me, your love is like the sea

He made me lunch.

He snuggled me all day.

He took me out to dinner.

He let me eat some of his jello.

He held my hand during The Hurt Locker.

He's all mine :)

Second Star to the Right by This Day and Age

Thursday, March 25, 2010

salmon patties

I bought canned salmon about a month ago to make these salmon patties but didn't get around to it until tonight. They were super easy to put together and only took a total of 8 minutes to cook. The patties were a little icky to form, but stayed together surprisingly well once placed in oil. Next time I plan on draining the salmon, using a little less salt and maybe add some extra seasoning. Old Bay perhaps? I didn't use dill because I didn't have any, so I added some dried parsley.

Neither Andy or I had ever tried salmon patties before. They were yummy! I'm going to make them again in a few days and will see if my changes work for the better.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

letting go

I've been asked a few times recently how my budget challenge is going. Uhh. It's not. It never really got going in the first place.

It's so much easier to ask Andy to pick up a few things here since he works at Martins. There have been weeks where I haven't set foot in a grocery store. After we cancelled our Sunday paper in January, I didn't have coupon-ing to keep me inspired. I realized that the budget challenge just wasn't at the top of my priority list.

With the big move coming up I've been going through some things in effort to avoid bringing unwanted/unused items to our new home. I threw out high school papers, almost empty bottles of shampoo and lotion from my early college years, tons of old mascara, makeup encrusted bobby pins and SMAD 101 flash-cards. I found lots of brand new toothpaste, shampoo, cotton rounds, razors and shaving cream.

While I'm at it, I'm throwing away the budget challenge and hoping to find success in a new method of saving instead. I've decided to become the primary grocery shopper and shop for specific meals, particularly ones where leftovers turn into a new meal for the next day. I want to challenge myself in the kitchen. I haven't cooked consistently since last summer. One of the reasons I looked for a different nannying job was because I missed being home in time to make a meal.

Our moving goal is to be sleeping in our new house the night of April 6th. Until then, we're hoping our only groceries will be bread, milk and fruit. Maybe cheese. We do eat a lot of cheese.

It's midnight...

chicken enchiladas

I made enchiladas for the first time on Sunday. They were fabulous and lasted for 2 dinners and a lunch. Andy and I don't mind leftovers, but if you do then simply cut the recipe in half and use a smaller baking dish.

These enchiladas come from a cookbook that was put together by the women in my parent's church.

Chicken Enchiladas courtesy of Norma Woodward

3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 package medium flour tortillas
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can diced green chiles
1 pint sour cream
2-4 cups Mexican shredded cheese (I used 2)
1 small can mild enchilada sauce (I used the red kind)

Grease a 9x12 dish. Mix sour cream, soup and green chiles. Set aside. Spread a layer of sour cream mixture, chicken and cheese down the middle of each tortilla, fold and place seam side down in the dish. Repeat until dish is full (I squished mine in tight). Add enchilada sauce to remaining sour cream mixture and spread over top. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until cheese is slightly browned.

Andy thinks this recipe would be even better if the cooked chicken was rubbed with taco seasoning before being placed on the tortillas. The man loves taco seasoning.

Monday, March 22, 2010

a good excuse to go to Staples

When I got engaged I desperately wanted a wedding planner (in the form of a book). My mom warned me that I would never use it. She was right.

What I did use was a plain white 1/4 inch binder stocked with clear page sleeves. I went through my stack of bridal, fitness and cooking magazines and ripped out anything that I found inspiring or helpful. This included a sample registry printed from Bed Bath and Beyond, ab workouts, examples of wedding hairstyles and makeup, a laundry guide and quick dinner ideas. I also stuck in cards from my bridal showers and mementos from my bachelorette vacation.

Now I can not only go back and look at what interested me in 2007/2008, I can also trash what I don't need anymore and add more relevant items. The great thing about page sleeves is you can put in whatever you want- calendars, menu plans, paint chips, invitations, etc.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

dog knows best.

Meet our dog, Casey "Quesadilla" Rennie. This photo was taken by my stinkin' talented employer Katie Stoops during a work session/play date for our pups.

Casey takes after me. She loves her bed, will snuggle all day long if someone is willing to snuggle back, yawns extremely loudly and goes nuts when someone gives her a present. She enjoys my new sandals almost as much as I do, except instead of wearing them she has been using them as a pillow.

Today I was supposed to go to the Maple Festival in Monterey with some friends, but plans fell through. I was feeling frustrated and antsy and stuck. Casey suggested we go in the backyard, so I followed her outside with a book in hand and we spent a lovely hour together in the sunshine.
She sat, very prim and proper, with her ears cocked slightly and her tongue out, listening to the conversation that was going on a few doors down. Every now and then she would lean her head through the fence and rest her chin on the horizontal beam.

Life is pretty simple for Casey. She doesn't need much to be happy. Today, with the sun spilling on the pages of my book and the happy realization that Heyyy I'm getting use out of my patio bistro set, it didn't take much for me to be happy either. There's something freeing in knowing that disappointments can be simply that and nothing more.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

a happy shoe story

I would make this image bigger if I could. These are super cute Deena and Ozzy sandals from Urban Outfitters, and when I saw them in Charlottesville on Monday I wanted them immediately. They are super comfortable and have just the right amount of funk that I'm looking for in a summer shoe. I had told myself I could spend $60 on "me things" that day, but for some reason I couldn't bring myself to pay $38.00 for them. Why was I hesitating? I LOVED them. I couldn't really explain it, but I walked away. I've been thinking about the shoes a lot since then. I was shocked when I strolled by the shoe section of Ross today and saw the exact same style (different brand, obv) and they FIT and they were COMFY. Best of all, they were $12.99. And now they are in my closet. Happy day!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

home (the springfield one)

I'm in Springfield tonight and as much as I miss Andy and Casey, I'm happy to be right where I am. My parent's house has changed since I lived here. New paint, new appliances, new decorations, new landscaping, new furniture. My room, like my sister's and brother's before me, is now stripped of my belongings and is a guest room. I don't even sleep there anymore- I prefer the lack of natural light in my sister's old room because I can sleep in later. Yet despite all the changes, it's still home and one of the most cozy places I know. Cheese bagels and coffee, reading the paper on the couch in the kitchen- life is good.

I came into town last night. My friend Laurel, who I've shared secrets and giggles with since middle school, is visiting on her spring break and after spending Sunday in Harrisonburg we drove to Charlottesville Monday morning, had lunch and shopped around and drove 29 up to Springfield to see our families. My mom was out speaking to a women's group about her business, so my dad and I had a date. He took me to a new Thai place down the street where I had a very yummy honey roasted duck dish w/ jasmine rice.

Today my mom treated me to a pedicure and we rented "Precious." Phew...that was a tough movie to watch. Absolutely worth seeing, though. We took my grandpa's wife Barbara to dinner at Carlyle, which I've mentioned before is our favorite restaurant. It was a beautiful evening and as always, the food was superb. Andy will be extra jealous when I tell him I ordered his favorite entree- the pecan crusted trout. I drove Barbara into Old Town b/c she parked at Becker Electric, and it was such fun to drive down King Street and pass the colorful townhouses that have been converted into restaurants and shops. It was nice to spend time with Barbara and share memories with her (my grandpa recently passed away). Next time I'm in town I hope to visit their house and go through old photographs with her. I'm a sucker for family history.

It's good to be here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

where is busy bee?!?!

all I want to do right now is watch Best in Show, but I have to make dinner and we're having friends over. watching two of my favorite scenes on youtube will have to do. every character in this film is amazing, but I have a girl crush on parker posey and her character meg absolutely slays me. take a break from whatever you're doing and watch these.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I'm exhaustified.

except not from being the boy. If you know where that saying is from, kudos to you. You are not a ninny pinny.

I'm exhaustified from my crazy long day. First of all, I had to wake up at EIGHT FIFTY. That's the crack of dawn when your recovering body has been dead asleep until noon. I wore real clothes today. And makeup. I took kiddos to school and went to K Stoops to edit photos and play outside with our dogs until four. Came home and mopped kitchen floor. Then walked around the kitchen with paper towels under my feet. Then sprayed the oven with foamness. WHO AM I??? Then wiped the stove. Then dismembered the stove top stuff. Then vacuumed under the stuff. Then made paninis for dinner, which we like to call "nini's," pronounced "knee knees." Then did dishes. Then tried scrubbing stove stuff (grates and drip pans in case you're wondering), then went to the store and bought ammonia and got carried away and bought an eyebrow kit and cuticle cream and a few handy travel sized items which are very hard to resist because anything tiny is hard to resist. Then put stove stuff in a bag with ammonia and started watching Inglorious Basterds (yes, with an e) but Andy fell asleep at 8:45 which was cute (he had a big day at work and was up at 3am) and he went to bed and I tried scrubbing stove stuff again and then tried scrubbing out the oven but that got really gross and then I put some cake on a plate and now I'm blogging and eyeing my cake and trying to pay better attention to Jim Gaffigan because I wuv him.


Hottt pockeettt. Calienteee pockeett.
I think I'm gonna go stick my head in the microwave.

Monday, March 8, 2010

I'm warning you, Etsy.

"Alfred was obviously underdressed for his induction into the Adventurers Hall of Fame."

I die.

honestly...Etsy needs to stop being so amazing. I can spend hours browsing people's shops and spending loads of money in my head.

The artist's shop includes some incredible street scenes and adorable animal prints. I know I'm buying one but I haven't decided which yet.

This is what you do with your life when your body is glued to a sofa and every time you think "but I feel so much better" you begin coughing up a lung and then fall asleep for hours. And then you wake up and eat toast and watch SNL videos on Hulu. Zach Galifianakis anyone?

I was disappointed by the Oscars last night. I adore Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin and frankly, I expected more from them. I wish they had done the song instead of Neil Patrick Harris, and wish it had been less of a production and more of a cutesy song and dance like last year's Hugh Jackman skit. I did love the silly Nazi references and Ben Stiller's avatar costume. My Netflix list is loaded with Oscar films.

Considering I woke up at 11:40 today, it is now my lunch time. I will eat, shower, walk the dog and make banana chocolate chip muffins. Now that's productivity.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

just wait til the end.

:( I made the decision to bow out of the NYC trip that Katie Stoops and I planned in January because I'm sick with a strange combo of a cold and stomach bug. I know I made the right choice (riding in a bus for hours when you're sick to your stomach doesn't sound appealing) but I'm crushed to miss out. Thankfully Katie's husband is able to take my place, so at least she won't be alone.

:( I made $0 this week.

:( Casey has been giving Andy the most attention lately. I miss being her favorite.

:( I need to eat and drink a little bit, but nothing appeals to me.

:) My husband has been super sweet all week and either picks me up stuff from work or runs to the store if I need anything. He also has showered me with kisses, which is at times really annoying because I'm all gross and mucus-y but mostly it's cute and endearing. The best is when he comes downstairs and sees me all curled up on the couch and rubs my head and pets my face. He never does this.

:) Even though I have to sleep upright on the couch, I am getting some sleep.

:) The Office is an hour long tonight.

:) BEST OF ALL: Andy and I found a 3 story townhouse that is on our street for two hundred dollars less than what we are currently paying for 2 stories. No pet deposit, fenced in yard, did I mention 3 stories? AND hardwood floors on the main level. The floor plan is very similar to what we currently have. Also super awesome: I will be next door to my friends Lisa and Josh! Our current landlords agreed to letting us end our lease in mid-April so that we could sign an April 2010- April 2011 lease with the new landlord, so we'll be moving in just a few weeks! God is good!

the funniest part will be getting everyone (Casey included) adjusted to living up the street and having to walk up to a different door than we are used to. Casey already goes up to Lisa's door to visit her dog every time we go on a walk, so getting her to go one door over may be interesting.