30 June 2012

We Saved the Ice Cream

We had a little storm last night... you might have heard about it or experienced it yourself. It was... a little bigger than little. Of course our power went out because when doesn't our power go out when it rains in the summertime? The difference is this time we're going to lose food which luckily doesn't happen to us often despite losing power. But don't worry - we saved the ice cream. It was one of those ideas that seems like a really great one until afterward when your belly is full of peanut butter ice cream at 1 am. Still, I'm glad we saved it. You know, priorities and all that. Plus, it makes for good memories: Husband and wife eating ice cream out of multiple containers in the wee hours of the morning by flashlight in their underwear.

The second tree behind the first one (no, those aren't bushes, that is a tree spanning across our one-way street) is the real doozy - right on our power lines.

We had a little birthday breakfast with Al this morning before I had to head to work. It was supposed to be a nice brunch but the restaurant didn't have power. It took us a while to find food without a line that looked like it would take 40 minutes to get through. Lots of people without power 'round these parts! We had to settle for grocery store bagels and vending machine coffee. Such a pathetic birthday meal. Needless to say, we owe Al a better meal at some point!

I drove home toward the end of the storm last night around midnight when the wind and rain calmed. However, the lightening was still strutting its stuff and I witnessed some incredible blasts in the sky going over the bridge. Mother Nature, you are truly something special.

26 June 2012

In the Kitchen

More healthy culinary expeditions since the last post:
  • Whole wheat buttermilk blueberry banana muffins
  • Pasta with chicken sausage, white beans, spinach, and cheese
  • Beet and orange arugula salad with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and dijon dressing 
  • Grilled blackened salmon served over a black bean, red onion, and grilled corn medley (for my dad's birthday)
  • Potatoes au gratin (for Dad's birthday)
  • A triple berry trifle (for Dad's birthday)
who needs a trifle dish when you have clear tupperware? classy.
  • Black bean veggie burgers (these were delicious but need some serious alterations with the filler - they were more like mush than burgers but were really tasty as part of a spinach salad with mango and tomato)
  • Chicken enchiladas
  • Zucchini and cheese enchiladas
one of us doesn't like scallions & cilantro. he shall remain nameless...
  • Chocolate chip banana muffins - I've made these a bunch of different times with some alterations each time. Jason loves these to take for breakfast to eat on his walk to the bus each morning which is why I keep making them (his without the chocolate chips, of course). Yesterday I feel like I perfected the recipe - I'll share it soon!
  • Tilapia tacos
  • Mexican chicken crock pot dish
  • Barbacoa in the crock pot served with brown rice (with corn, black beans, onions) and topped with cilantro, tomatoes, scallions, and avocado.
who needs chipotle?
  • Chewy chocolate chip granola bars
  • BBQ pineapple chicken
  • Zucchini fritters (they fell apart a little - I need to learn the proper ratio of flour/egg here!). I didn't make marinara sauce but I thought next time I'll make some to dip them in. Yum.
  • Chicken salad
  • Zucchini chocolate chip muffins 
  • Pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies
We loved the grilled blackened salmon and made it again when we were at Jason's parents' house since they have a grill. Someday we'll do it again at home but we don't have a dang grill. I keep searching on Craigslist for a mini charcoal grill - I would kill for a grill! We've also made the enchiladas twice. We have plans to do coconut chicken salad again tonight (from the last post). We're clearly finding favorites!

Whenever we're together for dinners (which is rare - usually only once a week), Jason helps me in the kitchen which makes things so much easier, faster, and more enjoyable. He's a great sous chef. On the days I'm alone, I just prep his dinner for him before I go to work so it's ready for him when he gets home! It makes me happy to cook for him because he has been super busy lately with school and work (I'm so proud of him). He has also been taking his turn in the kitchen by making breakfasts on the weekends before I have to go to work and not waking me until it's nearly done which I LOVE. I could get used to that! He's made a lot of whole wheat banana chocolate chip waffles and pumpkin pancakes. They are so delicious.

Our dishwasher bit the dust a couple of days ago... so there is a lot of hand-washing going on around these parts lately with all this cooking and baking (boo...)! The plumber came out yesterday but he couldn't do anything... sigh. Next stop - appliance dudes! Wish us luck that it's fixed soon... Of course I'll continue cooking anyway!

18 June 2012

Dave Matthews Band: LIVE!

Dave Matthews Band has been one of my favorite bands since I started caring about music in middle school. Jason has liked them just as long, if not longer. I actually prefer their live albums over their studio ones (I have memories of constantly stealing Jason's live discs from him in high school) so seeing them live has been something I've wanted to do for a long time. On Saturday night, we made it happen!

The drive was twice as long as we expected. I thought the show started 1.5 hours earlier than it actually did so sitting in traffic minutes before we thought it was going to start was making me antsy. I took a few photos while we sat there to pass the time... and had a one-woman Katy Perry dance party with the windows down yelling, "I'm at the wrong concert, y'all!"

We made it just in time to stand in a slow-moving bathroom line, grab a beer, get our pit wristbands, and snap a few photos of how close we were to the stage despite thinking we were late!

And then the show started. And goodness was it a good one. And a loud one (I wanted to plug my ears at times which made me feel... old). There's nothin' like standing in front of a wall of speakers in the pit! We stood with a couple who had been to 50+ shows and they said this was one of the best they had been to and that we were lucky to be so close. We were about 6ish people back from the front and I could see Carter (the drummer & my fav) smiling away the whole time.

It was well worth the wait. I knew it would be.
They played a lot of newer music (I wish this one was included in the newer song lineup - we played it to introduce our parents & wedding party at our wedding reception!) when I'm a bigger fan of the older tunes, but I'm not complaining. They did play a few songs from Under the Table and Dreaming which is my fav studio album.
They were incredible.


08 June 2012

DC's Aquatic Gardens

Last weekend, Jason and I went to the Aquatic Gardens in DC. They were a wee bit waterlogged from a big rain we had a couple of days prior but they were still pretty darn gorgeous. There was so much wildlife! Turtles in all different sizes (I was in turtle heaven), geese with their goslings, fish, and dragonflies galore. And of course, lots of pretty flowers.

 We brought a little someone else with us for the trip too.

This is Colin, the sweetest little guy I've been spending most of my time with lately. While his talented mama is off, "entertaining the masses," as she calls it, we take little trips around DC together. We have the best time!

I adore him.

We'll definitely be making another trip when everything has had a chance to dry out a little more.
There were quite a few walking paths we didn't get the chance to see and I'd love to explore them all!

06 June 2012

Back to School

My big news
(which is now relatively old news)
is that I'll be spending the next two years here pursuing my Master's of Public Health:

I can't wait!
I've been talking about doing this since before I finished my undergrad degree so I'm thrilled to get it started!
Jason has also been going to school for the past few months, 
so soon enough we'll both be little worker bees working on degrees.
I'm proud of us.
 Making changes for a better life.
Life is good. 
No, scratch that. 
It's great.

P.S. I went to Tulsa in January and finally wrote about it. Hooray for catching up!

01 June 2012

Making Space

The other day I had a meltdown about the lack of space in our teeny apartment that ended in a trip to Ikea. We bought a wardrobe and in a situation that would probably test the patience of some marriages, we found ourselves laughing. A lot. Thank goodness we're able to do that. How do we get ourselves into these messes? First, will the boxes fit in the car? Eventually... but barely. Then, will it fit through the hall door and into the bedroom once made? No, not even close. So, is there enough room in the bedroom to build it? Yes, but only if you have the strength of three people, are able to hold the damn thing up for extended periods of time, and are able to laugh in the face of what seems impossible, even in the wee hours of the morning with sore muscles and bruises.

I so love that man I married.

She turned out pretty nice though, yes?
 I sure hope the next renters think so because they might inherit her.

P.S. I finally wrote about our Vegas Trip.