Friday, August 29, 2008

Yearbook Yourself

Check out Leanne, Emily and more have opened my eyes to the hours of fun that is this website.
There are the 1950's

The 1960's
The 1970's

The wonderful 1980's

And the 1990's
Cleary I was born to be in high school in the 1970's.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Great Food: Episode 12

This week brought some Gooood Eats...

We tried our hand at the Favorite Turkey Burger and a Shredded Carrot and Beet Salad.

Here are the professional shots.

And here is our shot.

Clearly, we need some help in the photography department.

Nate really liked the Turkey Burger (ground Turkey mixed with shaved Gruyere Cheese, and some other seasonging). It definitely tasted good, but I bought the 97% fat free Turkey and next time I would get the 93% I think because it got dry pretty easily.

The carrot and beet salad was delicious. We would recommend cutting back the cumin a little bit. The beets are actually raw---you don't cook them---which we thought was weird initially, but ended up to taste perfectly fine.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

30th Birthday Dare

For Becca's 30th, Nate and I decided to put together a little 'activity' for her and Nick and my Mom and Dad to compete in. All in the name of a HAPPY BIRTHDAY for Rebecca!

This involved solving riddles based on childhood memories of Rebecca, and racing to those places to complete the challenge.

Becca chronicles the race from her perspective nicely on her blog! Check it out!

I would be totally remissed not to post some pics of Mom and Dad's challenges though. According to Nate (their official judge) they were quite competitive and hustled to enusre their 1st place victory. That should pretty much clear up any of the questions on where I get my competitiveness from.

So, here is Mom and Dad at the Viking for the "Shot to the Heart" Dare. Apparently Mom took her shot so fast, Nate couldn't even snap a picture in time. GO MOM!

They solved the clue that took them to where Becca and Nick got married and posed with their best wedding picture pose. Apparently that is Dad begging Mom to marry him.... :) Not to be outdone, Nick strong-manned Becca in their pose!

And the final challenge: Balancing the checkbook....never fun for Becca or my Dad growing up. Luckily for her, they created Debit cards. Right Bec? My favorite part of this picture is Finn in the background...just boppin around..wondering when the adults would start paying attention to him again!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Family Fun!

This weekend was a fabulous weekend. Not only was the weather literally perfect, but we were at home with Mom and Dad and the Keaty Clan!

It was so fun it must be split into two posts: Fun with Finnegan and Birthday Bonanza.

So, Finnegan...this kid is hilarious, super smart, and just a very very good boy. He sleeps all night, knows a ton of animal sounds, names, words, etc and now he is on the move..walking all over the place.

I managed to teach him one semi-inappropriate thing, but Becca will vouch for me that it was totally not intentional (at least at first).

The weather cooperated which meant it was sprinkler time!

Finn is always asking for his books, and he looks at them for a long time. My favorite moment of the weekend had to be when I passed Finn to Nick for a diaper change and FInn started crying and said "Te-ta...." (i.e. Greta) and reached for me. Melted my heart!

After some initial controversy Uncle Nate did get some lovin in with Finn (without gloves and a mask!) :) They were good buddies!

Such a great weekend, and makes me so excited for the upcoming Family Vacay to Hayward!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Attack of the Cicadas

Thanks a lot people.

About a month ago I posted this picture and put the call out to see what the heck they were. Let me refresh your memory:

Well when we returned from Ireland, all of the pests were gone (along with our entire plant), and I was fine with that knowing that the thousands of 'beetles' had hit the road.

Rewind about a week and half. I started discovering these 'remnants' attached to my tomato platns, flowers, etc...

And enter in this morning when we caught our first glimpse of this:

Now, I am not trying to blame you, my loyal blog readers, for the attack of the Hanson household. But if only someone could have told us how to kill them while they are young (yes I know how that sounds) perhaps we wouldnt' have to duck and cover every time we leave the house for the next month...Although to my Dad's credit I do think I remember him telling me to nuke them..or something along those lines.

I shuddder at the thought of all of them getting big...take a look at the bottom photo..BIG cicada, and scroll back up to the top to remind yourself how many there were...multiply that top picture by like 10...yup.

We have been infiltrated.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Tonight was book club. I love book club night. I priortize it over almost anything, and I always look forward to it.

Sadly, not many people showed up tonight, which was sad on two levels.

1) I hope this doesn't mean book club is dying.
2) I won this awesome tasting at Noodles for me and 8 friends, and only 3 people besides myself were there to eat it.

This meant SERIOUS gluttony on our parts...we are talking 2 appetizers, 2 salads, SIX pasta dishes and 3 dessert.

Of course they say they are 'tasting portions' but I'm not sure who they are kidding. I am pretty sure Nate could eat Noodles for leftovers for the next week and we would still have some left.

IT was really fun though because I always get my favorite stand-by item: Japanese Pan Noodles.

And I am telling you they have the world's best rice crispie bar (sorry Mom!).

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Great Food: Episode 11

Alright, it has been awhile since we have done any GREAT cooking since being gone in Ireland, so now we are back at it.

This week was Shrimp, Tomato and Basil Pasta. Again, another not so creative name, but it was really easy and required no additional ingrediants beyond what was already in our house.

It was pretty good. Really fresh and light (especially since we used homegrown cherry tomatoes!)...but we slightly overcooked the shrimp. And...our pictures suck this week for some reason.

The real highlight of the night was the dessert we tried: Cantelope with Honey and Lime. LIterally, I would eat this every night if cantelope was fresh year round. For all of you reading this that actually like cantelope (or muskmelon) try this out.

All it requires is for you to thinly slice the Cantelope (we used the cheese slicer side of our grater), and then you zest a lime, squeeze lime juice on top of the melon, and then drizzle it with honey.

It is the most refreshing summer treat you can possibly have I think. Even Nate was obsessed with it!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Kids These Days

So, not to sound cliche...but kids these days have SERIOUSLY too much time on their hands...or they have stage parents hoping to get rich quick off of a You Tube video.

Either way, I was checking out You Tube today to see what was out there for the brands I work on and came across these two crazy, hilarious and slightly alarming videos.

Clearly we should get these two on some sort of Consumer Inisight panel stat...

Not sure I would consider this a video that would launch this kids rapping career, but somehow he finds a way to semi-rap about Cheerios...

Oh there is more tooo..but I will spare you the hamster stuffing 21 Cheerios in it's mouth and the group of boys putting lyrics about Cheerios to Soulja Boy...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Savvy Auntie

Check out this brilliant website:

This is a website dedicated to Aunt's, Godmother's, etc who want to be the coolest (fill in the blank) for their neice, nephew, etc.

It is filled with great ideas, places to see, and things to do together!

Becca--once Finn is old enough we are TOTALLY getting webcams.

Through Sickness....

This weekend brought a few surprises....mainly Nate getting sick.

What started as a seemingly painful pimple turned into this:

And after some coaxing to get Nate to go to the doctor, we found out what we thought was very wrogn, and in fact Nate has a Staph Infection.
It looked painful and according to Nate, it was.
So fast forward a few days after some heavy antibiotics and Nate is as good as new (whew!).
To be honest I was afraid it was going to be one of those freaky stories you hear about spiders laying eggs in someones face or ear or something and Nate was going to hatch little spider babies out his face. So while I understand a staph infection is quite serious, I have to admit I am relieved he isn't goign to be a proud father to thousands of baby spiders.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Random Hilarity

Wrapping up the Ireland blog series tonight...realize I'm off schedule, but I thought this post would make for a good Monday morning read.

No trip is complete without weird products discovered, hilarious signs spotted and inside jokes formed.

So here we go...

Nate and I thought it would be fun to check out a Irish dollar store when we saw one in Galway...of course it wasn't a dollar was a 2 Euro store...which really ended up being like $3.60.

So for $3.60 you could getLunch in a Bag "Lunch in a Bag"

Or try some of these delicious Roast Beef Pringles. And if neither of those sound good there were also Shrimp Cocktail pringles that we couldn't photograph. YUM!!!

And of course there were all sorts of crazy signs...

In Dublin, clearly the biggest issue they have is people who litter because these signs were EVERYWHERE:

For those of you with some sight issues it says: If you behave like a piece of filth thats the world sees you. Of course brought to you by the Litter Council or something like that.

And there was this:

CONSTANT USE people...(notice the empty parking space).

And how about this for city pride

Yup...Galway is not for sure the best city in Ireland...but just probably.

And good news for all of you out there who have sick stuffed animals...

Now in Nate and Greta hilarity..there was our car...

Sure it may not look that funny, but add our luggage, our maps, ourselves and 8 full size kilts...and then it started to feel pretty funny...a.k.a. clown car.

When we visited Bunratty castle, Nate thought it would be HILARIOUS to fake out this donkey. Nate held out his hand like he had food, and the donkey moseys over to check it out. Of course, the donkey isn't dumb and realized Nate has no food. So he does want any donkey would do...turn around, and proceed to rub its ass back and forth on the wall right in front of Nate. Personally, I don't blame it.

And last but not favorite find of the whole trip came in Galway. It was meringue as big as my head with fresh raspberries. Seriously delicious, and I am pretty sure I didn't stop smiling while it was in my hand.

Friday, August 8, 2008


Of course one of the main attractions in Ireland is all of the beautiful castles that are still remaining. We managed to see quite a few, and ironically they were all very different. At least itw as ironic to us as we totally had the mentality of "once you've seen one castle you've seen them all right?...WRONG."

So, here is a tour de castles of Ireland, which of course will do the real thing absolutely no justice, but at least I can say I tried.

First we went to the Rock of Cashel. This was the most primitive castle in that it was in its natural state, not rebuilt in any way. I think this was my favorite.

Rock of Cashel had a killer view of another castle-like structure, which had Nate and I's imaginatrions running wild after reading "Pillars of the Earth." Was it the Archbishop's home? Perhaps it was a Lord's home?...hmmmm

Castle Number 2 was the Ross Castle. We didn't plan on this one but torrential downpours cancelled our bike trip, so we decided to hit up more mediviel madness. This one had a full tour and was rebuilt as an exact replica using millions of EU dollars. The tour was actually quite interesting...especially the murder favorite new feature of any home. It is a hole the floor above the main entrance that you can jab spears, drop boiling water, you get the point..down to kill intruders.

Then there was Bunratty Castle (definitely the most touristy of the castles), Quin Abbey, and the Castle of Athalone--which had this freaky tour guided by old film reels, and a mannequin that looked like a Wayne Newton hand-me-down.

There was also frolicking in the verdant rolling hills of grass and wheat of Ireland.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Aran Islands

We met up with the entire Anderson/Joyce Wedding clan at a pier in Doolin to hop on a boat over to the Aran Islands and then onto the Cliffs of Moher.

Let me tell you that this quickly turned into a potential SNL skit. On the way over there, everyone started throwing up. People were running to the front of the boat, some old dude in front of us started yacking over and over again into a bag and just when I turned my head to start to look away, the girl behind me throw up too. Needless to say, I made it without throwing up although I was a few shades of green upon deboarding the boat. Nothing a diet 7-Up at the local (and only) pub couldn't cure. Here are Amy and I recuperating.

So we arrived, and this island was very cool. Basically the entire island was covered in rock when people started to settle there. So instead of settling somewhere else, they made the obvious decision to start stacking rocks and making walls. Lots and Lots of walls. Which we walked around, walked through and climbed over!

There was also a pretty cool shipwreck on this island, which Patrick's brothers explored fully, and I decided against given my lack of memory of my last tetnus shot.

The scenery was truly breathtaking.

There were many opportunities to lock Nate in dungeouns, secret cells, murder holes, etc and I didn't miss a single one..

Then we had to board the dreaded boat for the ride back to shore. This went better, so I gambled and decided to take a bet that I would be ok for the cruise out to the Cliffs of Moher. Bad Idea....felt horrible, but again, awesome sights to behold.
After all the sea-sickness, Amy's parents were gracious enough to invite everyone for a good old fashioned BBQ, where I nursed my sickness with Chicken and potato chips and Nate nursed his with:
It was great getting to know all of Amy's friends and families too!

Aghhhh...good times!