Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday night dinner with friends.

And so begins a new journey, I think I have mentioned that Mr. R and I have been going through an awkward phase. We are no longer grad students who spend nights out drinking and running around town and yet we don't have kids yet so we aren't in family mode either. We have met fantastic people here in Florida, but we don't have the social network we used to when we lived in DC.

We decided this year we would start a new tradition of Sunday night dinners with friends. We are mixing work friends, church friends, young republicans, and neighbors on Sunday evenings for dinner and games.

Tonight is our first attempt at hosting and on the menu are: steak fajitas, Spanish rice, pineapple upside down cheesecake, and UNO.

(UNO was my favorite game as kid. I would play it for hours with my friends at the local pool in the summer, after swim practice of course. I lived for wild cards and the ability to skip my neighbors turn and I dreaded the draw four!)

The house is presentable, most of the food has been purchases, and dessert was made last night. I am really excited about the prospect of meeting new people and mixing up our social circle. I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

It's the weekend!

Usually this means I have a never ending todo list, but instead I am following the example of my Jersey peach rolemodel Katie Bower. Here is my weekend todo list that I think I will be so excited to cross off!

1. Have coffee with Jeff
2. Watch Psych & Monk
3. Take a very long bath while reading a girlie book.
4. Fit in two runs that are only as long as I want them to be.
5. Shop!
6. Eat dessert.
7. Read the paper on the porch.
8. Go to the library and find a new book on tape.

I am off to enjoy my weeked. Hope you have a great one too!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


This morning I slipped into an older pair of jeans that are two sizes smaller than what I have been wearing this summer. They were innocently hanging in the closet and for some reason I felt the need to try them on. They actually zipped without the help of a crowbar and a stick of butter.

I am nowhere near my size/weight goal. There are still many points to be counter (weight watchers) and miles to be run. But I feel just a tiny bit closer to those goals today.

I hate to admit it, but excercising and counting points really do work. And chick fil-a is not a substitute for a salad at lunch. (I think I am going to make those last two setences my mantra.)

Hope you all have a fantastic Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Menu Monday (belated)

I am back to work this week. And I have managed to get myself to school on time while looking relatively put together. I am however lacking in the wife department. Mr. R and I have decided not to eat out in an attempt to save a few clams so chick fil-a and I are on a break. (Much to my sadness. ) This means I will be cooking 14 meals this week. Here's a look at what we will be eating.

Brunch: Banana macadamia nut pancakes (see Sunday's post for recipe)
Dinner: Crock pot chili served with fresh bread and Jalapeno Popper dip.
* I used canned kidney beans instead of dried. (The red bean toxin freaks me out).

Lunch: Mr. R was on his own. School provided lunch on the first day.
Dinner: Leftover chili served salad style.

Lunch: Frozen Amy's Tamale Verde. (Full of salt but sooooo good!)
Dinner: Pierogies with low fat kielbasa. Served with sour cream and fresh tomatoes.
* I had help from frozen pierogies for tonight's dinner.

Lunch: Ham & Swiss sandwich (exciting huh?) served with sun chips and apple slices.
I am currently loving Jack Daniels honey mustard.
Dinner: Sweet potato pancakes with maple sausage (for Mr. R).
* The pancakes taste like fall. Makes me dream of a time when it won't feel like a sauna outside.

Lunch: Pesto, provolone, and roast beef sandwich. (I will eat mine cold, but Mr. R puts his on the George [Foreman] and eats it Panini style.) Served with horseradish dipping sauce and carrots.
Dinner: Mini pepperoni breads served with Caesar salad.
*Mr. R is hosting an officers meeting at our house so dinner needs to be quick and serve up to 8 people.

Lunch: grab bag. (At this point I will take whatever is left in the Fridge)
Dinner: Steakhouse sliders and steak fries (courtesy of Rachael Ray)
Dessert: TBA. I'll let you know how it turns out!
* We are having the grandparents for dinner. Thus elevating the night to a dessert occasion. I may even set the table using all three utensils tonight.

Monday, August 24, 2009

30 Rocks my sock...

Mr. R and I discovered 30 rock a little late. In fact 3 seasons late to be exact. On a whim I requested season one from Netflix and I love it. It's just like the Muppet show, but with people. Liz Lemon is Kermit, Jenna is totally Miss piggy, and Tracy Morgan is a perfect Gonzo. And I am thinking Kenneth may fit into the roll of Fozzie bear.

Mr. R loves it because Jack is total corporate America with little scruples and knack for witty come backs. If Mr. R were ever hired by the Shineheart Wig Corporation I firmly believe he would be fill the Donahey shoes with easy.

In short if you have a spare moment and are sick of TV reruns, give 30 Rock a try. I promise you will not be disappointed, unless you have no sense of humor, and in that case you must be disappointed a lot.

*If you are interested in a well thought out argument for 30 rock being a true Muppet reenactment read this.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

IHOP + Martha = Awesome Breakfast

After seeing way too many commercials for IHOP and their USA inspired pancakes I decided it was time to bust out my inner Martha and give specialty pancakes a try. I combined a few ideas and favorites and the result was an amazing Sunday morning breakfast that left Mr. R , the pups, and me stuffed to the gills. (On a side note, I have no idea why we use this expression. As humans by nature we do not have gills. We use lungs to breathe).

I wish I had taken pictures of our delicious indulgence, but alas you will have to settle for the recipe.

Using a just add water pancake mix, my preference is Aunt Jemima. I use seltzer water instead of regular water because Rachael Ray says it makes lighter and fluffier pancakes. To be honest I don't notice a difference, but its the thought that counts. (make sure to whisk the water in) Slice two bananas and stir into pancake mix. Add one small bag of macadamia nuts. (You may need to chop these guys up a bit).

Next heat up your griddle or frying pan and start flipping some flap jacks. (Easiest recipe ever I know! And I promise your husband will think you are a rock star).

The pancakes taste amazing with orange butter. Combine two tablespoons of smart balance (or whatever you use) with three tablespoons of orange marmalade.

Serve pancakes with orange butter and maple syrup. We also had grilled bacon. Nothing is better than breakfast with bacon!

Title: TBD

I have a had a lack of posts recently do to my mom being in town. This does not mean I have had a lack of material to post about however.

My mom is fantastic and you should all be lucky enough to have a mom like her. She is funny, honest, Jersey crass, and adorably cute. Her cuteness and likability allow you to be shocked when the Jersey crass exits her mouth. We went to the gym together, did lots of shopping, had a true IKEA adventure, (complete with three carts, a thunderstorm, and an incident involving me almost breaking a chair) and I even pumped some gas. I know, be shocked, I can't believe I did it either.

She left on Saturday and I miss her already. It's hard to believe two weeks flew by so quickly. I have to take solace that I will see her in November and then again at Christmas.

School started for me this week, although the kiddies do not come back until Monday. I wish I could say I am excited to start the new year, but I feel right now, that my heart is not in it. I have several challenging children this year (to put it mildly) and a marathon to run in 8 short weeks. I think I am starting to crack under the pressure.

The good news is the house is almost complete and to my liking. My style is rather eclectic and I have this crazy idea that every room in the house must tell a story, serve at least two purposes, and be relaxing and welcoming. This results in me designing rooms that are full of family photos, travel momentos, hand painted signs or pictures, and lots of overstuffed comfy furniture.
I promise I will post pictures soon. I am in love with the dining room space. I also am incredibly Psych-ed I found a home for our pineapple tea pot (did any of you get the reference? It's okay if your didn't we can still be friends) and Mr. R's handmade Grecian hat.

I am hoping to get more use out of the dining room space this year starting with Sunday night dinners. I am stealing this idea from a friend at school who used to host them. Its basically a gathering of friends on Sunday evening to eat comfort food (aka made in the slow cooker) and play games while celebrating the close of the weekend. If you are lucky enough to live in the St. Auggy area, you might receive your invitation soon!

Mr. R and I also had another life plan/ goals talk today. We are taking two big trips this year, Asheville & NYC, and are still planing to go to France in the spring. We have been pinching our pennies, but I think the belt needs to tighten even more! (Could I have used any more cliches?) I guess, Mama will not be getting that new pair of shoes for a LONG time.

Speaking of shoes DSW has the most adorable flats right now, if you stand on your feet for 8hrs a day like I do, do not walk, but run and buy these flats. Your arches will thank you!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Being a daughter again-

I moved out of my childhood home the summer of my 18th birthday. I was packed for the 4 year adventure of college and planned to leave my small Jersey town in the dust. I spent my summers working internships and my spring breaks visiting family in Florida. I saw my mom on holidays, but new I was never going to live at home again.

After graduation I started my graduate degree in NOLA and the opportunity to go home for holidays dwindled. The cost of airfare rivaled the cost of books and Christmas was my only opportunity to go home.

That summer I moved to DC to work as a research assistant and found that living in the same state as my fiance made life so much easier. With hurricane Katrina changing my plans for receiving a degree from Tulane I transferred to Virginia Tech and began my life as a soon to be wife. Living only three h0urs from home allowed for a lot more time to visit home, holidays, birthdays, and weekend adventures.

Now we live in Florida and my mom is starting a new chapter of her life. She has finished her masters, become a national board certified teacher, and will soon become an administrator in her NJ school system. We saw each other only twice this year and her trips seem shorter than they used to be.

My mom arrived Friday and I am so excited she is here to spend the nest two weeks with me. I have day trip to the beach and shopping planned with an excursion to IKEA. She has the best interior design and fashion sense I have ever seen. I grew up in a home that looked like a Domino magazine feature. I plan to cram in as much "mom time" as humanly possible to tide me over for the next six months.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I'm Back Babydolls!

The above heading is in reference to the TV show "How I Met your Mother", which I watch way to often as Mr. R has the DVDs and they suck me in with the cheerfully romantic plot lines.

So much as happened since my last post and I will attempt to fill you in on my little life in the 10 minutes I have before guests arrive and I must make/serve them dinner.

1. Marine Science is OVER! The camp ended last Thursday and while I love the fact I don't have to be up at 6:00 on the dot any more or wear the same shirt for four days in a row, I had a blast. The kids for the most part were great and really, who can complain about a job that pays you to be at the beach?

2. Sod, glorious sod! The sod was installed my last week at work and we have successfully kept it alive for two weeks. Apparently, my thumb isn't as black as I thought. The pups love it and are keeping it well fertilized. (Proving the sod should be thriving for years to come).

3. We have wood! (floors that is) The floors are in and they are beautiful. I almost didn't want to put our furniture back. I also love that their beauty has made Mr. R almost stop wearing his shoes in the house. (Double score!). The pups aren't too sure about them yet. They don't like that they click when they walk. This has put a damper on their stealth ability to steal food and open the treat cabinet.

4. Danielle is 29, well she has been for a few weeks now, but we celebrated her awesomeness and how thankful we are that she was born, last Thursday. Due to the fact that we only had half a floor at the time of party Kristin offered her house and all I had to due was provide the food. I tried a few new recipes and they were so good. We stuffed ourselves with buffalo chicken dip,(I use no butter and fat free/low fat cheeses) 7 layer Mexican dip, steak nachos, chicken nachos and queso. And it's not a birthday without some funfetti cupcakes ala Rachel.

5. Stuff the Bus! The YRs are hosting a school supply drive, for local kids, inspired by yours truly. You all know I have a strong desire for all things organization and crayola. We are asking for donations of folders, pencils, pens, and notebooks. (All other supplies are welcome too!) We have had some awesome donations from very generous people. And if you also want to be awesome and generous throw some supplies our way. You too could have a shout-out on my blog!

6. Obamanomics 101. With school starting in just two weeks (Eeek! I am so not ready). Mr. R was saying how we, as a club, need to educate people about what's going on with our money, aka taxes. The health care plan is a buzz on the news right now, but I gotta tell you, I don't really trust the news to give the full story anymore. Instead Mr. R and I, present to you, Obamanomics 101: Change we can't afford. If you want to know what President Obama's proposed changes mean for you paycheck and your family, leave a comment and I will send you a link to our new series.

7. I need new running shoes. I am back to running and logging some serious miles. I have yet to break in my new shoes well enough and now I have some serious blisters on both of my freakishly long index toes. I know as if feet weren't gross enough already.

8. Billy Banks is back (in my VCR). Yes, I am old school and still have a VCR. Also Billy Blanks, the Tae-Bo wonderman, (I love him), has new videos that are fantastic! The series isn't as crazy as his boot camp series, that almost killed me. It's great for my cross training days and it only takes 45 mins.

9. My mom is coming tomorrow! She is amazing. I love her and I haven't seen her in 7 months. I am so excited. She is my best friend, confidant, and shopping partner.

10. The 2010 IKEA catalogue is here. The layouts are great and my mind is already spinning with ideas on how to revamp our house. I have several pages already marked and circled. I think a trip to Orlando is in order.

Ok, so this has taken much longer than ten minuets resulting in Mr. R having to make dinner. Maybe I should blog at the dinner hour more often. Fellow bloggers, thanks for hanging in their during my recent draught of blog posts. I promise to do a better job of checking in.