Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Lazy Life

I know, I know. Where are the Christmas blogs with the festive pictures, and videos of Finn saying "This is Soooo cute" to every gift he opened?

Well, let me tell you about something I call the snowball effect of laziness. I have been off of work since December 17th. Straight. All days without driving into work. Firing up the email chaos. Meeting Madness. etc. etc. etc. None of it.

Now at first, I was highly productive. Cleaning. Baking. Laundering. Wrapping. And then day by day, my motivation to get up and do 'stuff' slowly waned. And yesterday was the pinnacle of laziness. I think I took 2 naps. I ready my book. I watched a movie. I went for a walk with my neighbor.I ate food. I did make it to Spin class which was my major accomplishment of the day.

And so you can see how blogging, and uploading pictures (what.a.chore.) just doesn't fit into that lifestyle.

Never fear, I am back to work on the 3rd, and am hoping I have some muscle memory to doing a million things at once. Either way, my guess is I am in for a seriously rude awakening.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

4th Annual Festivus Cookie Decorating

It was one of my all-time favorite parts of the holiday season this week as we hosted some of our favorite Jewish friends over to our house to help us decorate Christmas cookies. There were grievances aired, but no festivus pole. We still feel that may be a little out of place for this particular event.

However, there WERE feats of strength this year. And that came in the form of all of the cookies that had to be decorated. This is not your average slop some frosting on a cookie and put some sprinkles on it and call it a day cookie decorating. No, there are angels that need braided hair, snowmen that need holly put in their hat, and toy soldiers that need to be made into Buckingham palace guard.
And this year, I added an epic-ly large Christmas ornament cookie that you literally had to summon your strength to attempt.



The boys have seriously stepped up their game in the decorating department too. (Need I remind anyone about Nate's first year, before he realized how serious this was?)

These weren't even their best work--but the most meaningful to them. They were quite sentimental.



The ultimate feat of strength came when Sam was facing 1 last cookie that needed to be decorated. We were all done, and sat there taunting/encouraging him. He had hit his limit. He didn't have his creative vision for this last snow-man, but he had reached his limit for "decorate and eat immediately".

And so, "The 30-second Snowman Challenge" was born. And it isn't much more complicated than that. 30 seconds. One snowman cookie. Sprinkles. Frosting. Go.
And here was the result:

video
A new tradition was born, and you can be sure there will be 30-second snowman challengers next year.

All in all, it was a very fun night with great friends, that resulted in some pretty kick-butt cookies if I do say so myself. **Note: no cheating utensils like a piping bag were used in the decoration of these cookies.**


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cooking Light: Episode 23

Growing up I can't say I always appreciated my Mom's delicious cooking. I was a picky eater. Plain and Simple. From a timer set on the microwave to warnings of no bed-time snack, every and all tricks were deployed to try to get me to eat normal food.

But, there were a few stand-bys that always brought me to the table ready to eat: scalloped potatoes and ham (mmm..I haven't had this FOREVER), Spaghetti, Taco's and my Mom's manicotti.

So I was really excited to try the Lasagna Rolls from Cooking Light this week because to me it seemed very similar to the manicotti recipe but without the tediousness of stuffing the shells. Comine that with a sauce you made from scratch with diced tomatoes, roasted red peppers and some spices and I thought it would be a home-run.


And it was  good. Nate learned that I really like to eat the broken, leftover lasagna noodles. And I learned that sometimes, you really can't substitute a classic. So, it will be back to stuffing shells for me the next time i am craving that down-home cooking of my childhood.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

White Chistmas

If you live in Minneapolis, there is no doubt that you will be enjoying a white Christmas after the 'festive' winter weather we had the past weekend. Admittedly, it did end up snowing a lot and the roads were really bad.

BUT, Nate and I continue to be amazed by Minnesotans ability to whine about the weather, and completely blow it out of proportion.

Exhibit A: We ran some errands on Friday night because our weekend was packed, and didn't put two and two together until we got to Rainbow Foods and the check-out lines were all the way into the dry good aisles. It was like people were preparing for the next world war. It was absolutely ridiculous.

Exhibit B: Facebook. Everyone's posts were all: "SNOW-nami 2010", "It's SNOW-mageddon", etc etc. Really? Doesn't that seem a bit dramatic? Even for you, Minnesotans?

So Nate and I were laughing about it all weekend (except for the 45 minutes we were driving in it..not so much laughter then...). Three shovelings later (of which I only helped with 1--you're the man Nate) and we were completely free and clear to go back to our normal lives.

Nate was quite the sight when he came in from his first shoveling:
It is funny looking out of our windows where the trees start to look like bushes because the snow is so high:


Or feeling the sense of being truly snowed in as the snow creeped up and up and up toward the door handles, and windows!
Either way it was a fun day of hibernation, and as "Father Christmas" continues to remind me -- it was a good thing this didn't happen on December 24th or Christmas would have been cancelled for the 2nd year in a row!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Ultimate Book Review

For the last four years, I have been keeping track of all of the books I have read in this nifty little "what I read" noteook I received as a gift. I am a self-proclaimed nerd in that there is nothing better than keeping a list, crossing off a list, and looking back on the list to remind you of everything you did. And books are one of the best things to track.

Some books are so knock-out that you never forget the characters, but others need a gentle reminder such as a character's name, a specific scene, etc to take you back into the story. So this morning, as the snow comes down inch by inch, I took out my little blue notebook, which was filled to capacity last night to look back on all of the stories I have devoured in the last 4 years, and here is my top must-read list! Listed in no particular order  (because to me they are all awesome!).....

1) Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres
2) The Good Good Pig: the Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood
3) Snow Flower and the Secret Fan  by Lisa See
4) Water For Elephants by Sara Gruer
5) The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
6) What is the What by Dave Eggers
7) Molokai'i by Alan Brennert
8) 102  Minutes by Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn
9) The Russian Concubine by Kate Furnivall
10) Still Alice by Lisa Genova
11) Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
12) The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
13) The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Is it unlucky to have a list with 13 items on it? Perhaps, but I don't want to lead any of you astray with a pretty good, it was alright or it held my attention sort of book. I promise that although this list is long, those that did not make the list is MUCH longer--remember this is a 4 years-in-the-making-list here people.

So, time to start a new notebook to fill with all of the books that are waiting for me on my overflowing book-shelf. If anyone has any recommendations of books that I must start 2011 off with let me know!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas in The City

I have been severely lacking in the blog department but I have a really good excuse: the last 4 days I was in NYC immersing myself in extreme holiday merriment with girlfriends.

This was the 2nd in what I hope proves to be a long-standing tradition (although I think we all agree next year it's time for an upgrade to a room with a bed bigger than a double for 3 of us...).

Now this is not your typical girlfriend trip to NYC. 
No, this trip had one mission and one mission only: Get Filled with the Holly Jollies.
And we more than exceeded.

 The trip started with an unexpected, but welcome, stop at a pop-up shop that Real Simple was putting on for hot HOLIDAY gifts. And the marketing side of all 3 of us were going nuts at how well done it was (i mean we got oodles of free chocolate--hello!) and we all got a little Christmas shopping done too! Look at these smiles!


 We even picked our restaurants based on the Christmas decorations (well, for the most part--I mean we had to go to at least one hot spot). I am here to tell you that the Italians know what is up with the Christmas decor. 


 We started day 2 at one of our favorite spots: Grand Central. A little sad that the light show was discontinued this year, BUT we found a great little holiday fair that had all sorts of fun gift ideas. And this was when our plan to come back when we are 40 and brings gobs of cash from some mysterious source and spend it with wild abandon.


And speaking of that future trip of an older age and bigger wallet, when we passed The Palace (you know what I'm talking about Gossip Girl fans--XOXO) we just had to stop to snap a picture and the promise was made to ONE year stay at this beautiful hotel.
 The weather was glorious for some serious ice skating. Sure it's over-priced, packed and not probably the safest ice skating with an inch of snow on the ground, but can you really beat this view?

That is a rhetorical question, because I have the answer.
You can't.
 As a super double bonus holiday surprise, we found out the ELF (the movie) was playing on Broadway! SANTA--I know him! Sure, you can't quite beat Will's epic performance, but the show was cute and definitely fit the bill for holiday joy.
 After a special treat of sleeping in we headed over to check out the Public Library which was filled with beautiful trees last year, but THIS year there was just a major line to get in where we found out there is a HOliday Open House that we were not invited to. So we headed over to Bryant Park to enjoy some Sunshine and some holiday tunes.


After walking from 40th to 100th (not even joking right now), we were feeling the need to take a little break. So we took a few breaks that were centered on good sweets (hot chocolate, donuts and chocolate crossaints anyone) and then hit the jackpot with this cute little spot in the UPper West Side that was laid back, played good music, had good food. Mmm. And it was VERY festive as an added double bonus.

It was a good thing we fueled up as we headed to the grand finale of Christmas in NYC: the Park Avenue Christmas Tree lighting put on by the little red brick church.

Blocks of fur and chanel.
13 Christmas Carols.
A Children's Choir.
Brass.
And a 'let there be light' moment.


It was such a great weekend. Now I am ready to bake, shop, wrap and continue that for the next 2 weeks!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cooking Light: Episode 22

The holiday season is not known for its light dessert fair, but Nate and I thought we would kick it off the right way by trying out the Cooking Light Chocolate Chip Drop Cookies.

There was pretty much less of everything in these cookies except for sugar, so they were quite crisp. There were also less chocolate chips, although you can't tell in ONE of the cookies below :)

So I think if you were a hard-core dieter, or had a health issue where you had to limit a bunch of stuff that is delicious but you know you shouldn't eat, then these cookies would be worth it.

But honestly, it doesn't save that many calories, and they just aren't as good as the real thing. And that is really all you can say about it.

Now--bring on the holiday treats!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

22 Hours of Black Friday

Thanksgiving weekend brought my Mom north to Minneapolis to partake in lots of shopping. And shopping we did.

Starting at 8PM on actual Thanksgiving which went to approximately 1AM. We took a break to catch some Zzzz's and then were back at it on Friday.

This was the damage after Friday (note we still had shopping to do, and that we did on Saturday...)

 I was pooped. My credit card was pooped. And I think by the end of the week even my Mom was pooped.

But we got lots of shopping done, so now let the wrapping begin!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Reindeer Games

We are busy decking the Halls. The tree is up. The stockings are hung. Etc. etc. But the best part of Holiday decorating is decorating Lucy.

She loves it so much.

This year she wanted to help guide Santa's sleigh so we got her suited up:


I mean, I think she makes a pretty convincing reindeer. Sure she brought her grinch face, but reindeer can't be cheerful and bright all the time.

Happy Holidays for Nate and I, and the oldest cat alive.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Smackdown

It was a super smackdown in the Metrodome today as the Packers handed the Vikings another pathetic loss.

Nate and I still had the sad disappointment of last years loss at the Dome with us as we entered the building and we decided to try to keep an even lower profile this year since Vikings fans have a tendency to be complete A-Holes when they are winning--so we could only imagine what it would be like given their dismal record this year.

And clearly this assumption was a fact, because all over the dome were these signs:
These were also accompanied by fancy slogans like "We are Vikings, Not Barbarians...". Now admittedly I haven't been to a single other NFL stadium, but for some reason I feel like the Vikings probably have to deal with poor behavior the most.

And I say this from experience. The fans suck. Last year when they were winning, they couldn't even win with grace. Swearing, and shouting and doing all sorts of rude things to the Packer fans. This year, a whole new list of unsportsmanship-like behavior cropped up:
  • Automatically saying things like: "Well at least we aren't the Bears..." Really Vikings? Because I am pretty sure the Bears are winning our divison right now so....good logic.
  • Starting a stadium--wide chant: Fire Childress. I know nothing about coaching, so I guess i have no comment. Except to say that tearing a team apart with drama cannot be good for gametime.
  • Oodles of fans screaming that "Favre is pathetic," "Bench Favre"....and so on and so forth. Now, I admit last year when Favre cheated on us with the Vikings I was pissed. And I am not his #1 fan now. But was really gets me is that LAST YEAR the Vikings Fans were r-u-b-b-i-n-g it in our faces that they had Favre and we didn't. And now, after ONE year, they are booing him--offering to PAY us to take him back? Nice Vikings. Nice. At least it took Favre GOING TO THE RIVAL, and doing some inappropriate things with his smart phone to get the Packers fans to dislike him. Not a rough patch of some bad games.

Anyway, we pulled off a W, and Nate and I were very happy campers, and we waved to all of the Vikings fans who left the game in the 3rd quarter. Fair. Weather. Fans.

And we left the game with all bodily parts in tact. No beer on our heads. No ridicule or swearing. Of course, that is probably because all of the Vikings Fans had already cleared out...........

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shut Up, Foodies!

It always makes my day when I come across another very amusing website to keep a smile on my face in moments of--well, not smiles.

Like F U, Penguin (although sadly, no new blog posts FOREVER). Nate and I still will randomly read those posts out loud and crack ourselves up for hours. I know...crazy fund times in the Hanson house.

Well today, I came aross this website: Shut Up, Foodies!. While it doesn't quite the wit and humor that FU Penguin does yet, it is pretty hilarious because...well it is a little like laughing at ourselves (although on the spectrum of wannabe foodie and actual foodie Nate and I are more on the wannabe end)...and it's so true.

Read their "about us" in the upper right corner...seriously who does care about ramps? What are they anyway and how did the human race come about eating them?

Anyway, enjoy the new site!

Monday, November 15, 2010

All I Want For Christmas is Heat

Either that, or a new electric company.

Remember the weekend of no power back in July? You know the one where our awesome neighbors went out of their way to take everythign from our fridge and freezer and put it on ice for us?

Or how about the random evening of no power in August? You know the one that just made no sense at all and it kept going on and off and on and off all night.

Well the 3rd time is the charm because our power is just off. Period. And is not coming back on. And I want to be nice and understanding about the 'heavy' snow. But, when your house is 47 degrees and everyone around you has their lights and and their house taunts you with it's warm glows all niceness flies out of the window.

And, guess what. Losing power 3 times in 4 months is not normal. So Xcel Energy needs to just FIX IT.

Have you seen this video? Click Here. This is how I feel about our power. Last night when we went to bed with a severe fire hazard that was about 15 candles (don't tell our insurance agent) and headlamps on so we could have some sort of entertainment, all I could think was "when I wake up in the morning it better be FIXED."

And it wasn't. So as I hovered over my ice cold toilet seat, put my contacts on in the dark, and stumbled my way out the door, I can only say that if it is not FIXED when I come home tonight we are going to have problems. I don't know where Xcel Energy is located, but I will find them. Yes. I will find them. And tell them to show their automated message machine that won't let you get through to an ACTUAL HUMAN BEING, who is boss.

On the bright side, I've never been more excited to come to work on a Monday for the sheer fact of heat. So there's that.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Blog Worthy

As a person who looks forward to perusing my blog scroll every day, I felt it was my duty to alert all other bloggy friends of a new blog that just hit the presses: Sina's Cupboard.

Check it out here:
http://sinascupboard.blogspot.com/

Sina is my neighbor and friend and is also a pretty fabulous dietician. She single handedly showed me the way to eat kale (ugh...seriously who eats this) in a way where I now actually crave the stuff and could eat it every night. Sure she has the legit credentials, but take the 'makes kale delicious' credential as the ultimate reason to check out her blog.

We have enjoyed swapping Cooking Light recipes and vegetables over the literal and figurative neighborly fence.

So check it out, follow it, and eat healthy the tasty way (really the only way to do it in my opinion)!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Listmania: The Best Christmas Songs of All Time

Yes, it is that time of year again. To turn up the holly jollies, and turn off the hip hop blaring from my stereo. Quite the range of music, I know.But there is just something about Christmas music that makes me happy and feel all warm and cozy. And yes, there are approximately 1 million renditions of I'll Be Home For Christmas and Silent Night, but here are a few of the favorites in the Hanson Household.

1) All I Want For Christmas is You by Mariah Carey. Perhaps one of the best Christmas albums of all time. I couldn't NOT start with this song as this was my opening song of choice for this holiday season. It just doesn't get better than this. Upbeat, fun, incredibly hard to actually sing but in your head when you are jamming out to it in your car--you are killing it.

2) White Christmas by The Drifters. Two words. Home . Alone. All I want to do when I hear this song is grab my hairbrush and lip synch in the mirror.

3) Sleigh Ride--any rendition. The reason any rendition will do is because all I think about when I hear this song is some middle school band concert somewhere, anywhere really. The kid that gets to make the big clapping noise has the most important solo, followed closley by the trumpet player who gets to fake the horse whinney....good stuff.

4) It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams. After seeing Mr. Williams in person in his Branson palace, how could a person leave him off of a list as important as this. He is Father Christmas after all.

5) Silent Night--by Candlelight.  There is nothing better than the night Christmas Eve service at church, when they dim the lights, pass out the candles and we sing ALL verses of Silent Night. It is the epitome of the holiday caroling season.

Yes, I am sure there are (and my iPod says approximately 427) more awesome Christmas songs to consider. So, what did I miss on this list? Anyone have any must add's to the above?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cooking Light: Episode 21

We tried to get every last second of this warm weather out of this weekend as the reality of winter draws nearer. Besides a 3 hour Target run (not even lying--wish I was), we got to enjoy some really nice time outside.

And what better way to hold onto the last degrees of summer/fall than enjoying a semi-summery lunch of Basil Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwiches.

Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.

I am not a huge mayo lover, so I was nervous but it was such a small amount (obviously---it is Cooking Light afterall) I hardly noticed.

Add on some crisp lettuce, roasted red peppers and a nice dill on the side and you have yourself a pretty impressive lunch!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Running Dirrrty

Picture this: Halloween Morning in Madison. Approximately 0 degrees*. 1300 people dressed up and ready to run.

And not just run through the beautiful campus. No, this was a slightly different type of running. It involved 15 obstacles. The FIRST of which was crossing a stream of moving water that went up to my armpits. Which meant the remaining 4.6 miles were done soaking wet.

Fast forward through some walls to throw yourself over. Hay bales to jump over. Tires to run through, etc etc etc and the grand finale was crawling through a massive mud pit.
Oh. yeah.

Check out Emily's diver pose. You just can't compete with that.



 And the after-effect is exactly what one would imagine. Messy. Dirty. Sloppy fun. Oh and freezing cold. But mostly just fun.

**Note: temperature may be slightly exaggerated, but this is what it felt like.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Fun!

No Halloween is complete without loading kids, whether they are related to you or not, full of sugar. And thus, this Halloween was definitely complete.

We were graciously hosted by Emily at her home with her 3 beautiful boys and husband Dave. And I, being proclaimed Auntie Candy by my own family, could not imagine letting Halloween weekend pass without sharing the joy of sugar.



And so sugar was shared...in the form of Pixie Sticks...
And in the form of suckers
It was so much fun to be in a house filled with such warmth and love and energy. Yes, with 4 boys under the age of 5 there was definite energy but  look at these faces and tell me how you could not just smile?

  And of course you can't forget about Leo--the ultimate napping companion.

It was a great weekend, which ended in a very dirty race....stay tuned!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Spinning Hot Dog

No, I am not talking about the roller dogs at Super America although that does sound tasty right now.

In fact, this morning as I hauled my butt out of bed at 5:30 to go to Spin I had to rub my eyes and make sure I wasn't dreaming as I watched my Spin instructor mount her bike in a full hot dog costume.

Now I get that my gym goes all out of Halloween, and had I known people would be dressed up this morning I would have either a) used that as an excuse not to go (most likely)  or b) figured out a costume to wear.

But I guess I didn't realize that they actually WORKED OUT in these costumes. The entire class I was distracted thinking how is this person still spinning so fast? How are her knees not getting stuck on the bun? How disgusting will this costume be after 1 hour of hard core sweating? Will she wear it again?

 Maybe if it hadn't been pitch-black, before 7AM, and on a Friday I wouldn't have had such an issue rectifying this situation in my mind but it was mind-boggling I tell you. Mind boggling.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cooking Light: Episode 18

It has taken me almost a week to be able to even STOMACH this post. Why? Not because this meal was disgusting, or we had another epic fail.

On the contrary, it was delicious, simple and one of those warm comfort foods.

But, after the Mexican extravaganzaa (ugh...I may have just thrown up a little even typing that) I couldn't even bring myself to look at this picture let alone type this post.

So it will be brief. We made (deep breath) Chicken Enchilada's and they were great. We nabbed a rotisserie chicken from Costco, whipped it together and viola:

I did at one point say that I thought this would be a new stand-by, but I dont' think it will make the rotation until well into next year at this point...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hiking Tahoe

**First a public disclaimer on how over hotels I am. How disgusted by Mexican food I am. How much I do not want to get back on an airplane tomorrow. I normally love travel, but something about traveling to CA twice in one week has done me in. Even though one of those times was for fun. But I'm over it. Ready to be back to my house. my food. my bed. my gym. even my desk at work. did i really just say that?

Alright, so to round out the anniversary vacation I am going to skip over the details of Sutter Creek, because really--doesn't the Branson of the west really just describe it all? --and head straight to our day of hiking in Tahoe. This was a random spur of the moment decision born out of a sever lack of things to do in Sutter Creek.

But it was a gorgeous, breath-takingly beautiful decision.


We hiked for almost 2 hours, and on the waaaaaay up---lots of stopping. I got super tired from the elevation. Nate insisted on hiking sticks, I said he was ridiculous, but in actuality they did help (but don't tell him that.). 

It really was a gorgeous day, and on a triple bonus the first time i was warm in california!! I definitely recommend this as a day trip to anyone in the area.

And as of tomorrow at noon I will be back on Midwest soil and will be happy to not see CA for the next 6 months or so. :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fog City

The anniversary vacation has started!! Nate and I made our way to San Francisco last night to begin the celebration of our 3 year anniversary. We stayed with a college friend last night and they introduced us to an AMAZING Indian restaurant that we promptly stuffed our faces full of their delicious dosa's, chennia chicken, and this strangely tasty yogurt rice.

Someone should have warned us prior to leaving sunny, warm Minneapolis that the sun doesn't shine in San Francisco and it is cold. Fast forward to the part where Nate and I had to go shopping for a few cold weather articles of clothing so that we could fully enjoy ourselves. And enjoy ourselves we have.


We headed to the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market and were in absolute awe. Here we had been running around the last 10 years saying that Madison, WI had the best farmers market in the US. But this place made us eat our words. And those words were delicious.





We happen-stanced across a bike rental place so (since we were freezing our butts off) we decided we would be warmer biking to the Golden Gate bridge than the open air trolley. So we put on some very dorky helmets, and off we went.

We ended our stay in San Francisco by taking some very fun urban pics with a photographer that I'll post once we get them in a few weeks. More to come on the adventures of Sutter Creek--which I like to refer to as the Branson of the West Coast. For now, this traveler needs to get un-packed and RE-packed as I head BACK west to LA tomorrow for work. Good times.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Groupon Goof

So by now it is no secret that I am obsessed with all things online deals/collective buying, etc. And Groupon is clearly at the top of this game.

So when I joined my neighbors to cash in on a Groupon before it expired on Friday I was amazed at how stupid the restauarant handled us.

Yes, I get that in the 'fine print' it said: only one groupon per table BUT we were two paying coupons that would have taken up 2 tables.

We went back and forth on whether to get seated and pop it on them at the end or be honest up front and ask about the best way to handle. We chose the up front and honest approach (SPOILER--this is never the best way).

So we get the big fine print schpeil and we say to them: "So we will go to the bar, order our drinks and appetizers that we WOULD OTHERWISE just order at the table and then go sit at our table, and essentially just check out twice--once at the bar and once at the table."

And had the place not been TOTALLY crazy busy (presumably it was filled with all the procrastinators who didn't want their coupon to expire), perhaps then I would would understand the firm rigid adherence to the rules. But it was crazy. And the hostess sucked.

So we did the multiple check-outs. Which meant the boys waited at the bar while the appetizers were cooked and the girls went and got our dinner table. And I felt bad for our server as the boys walked into our booth with 2 appetizers, and 4 drinks because she probably would have like to have that bigger tip. But don't blame us---blame the hostess who apparently just doesn't quite get it.

Of course, this will not curb my impulse purchasing of said deals, especially when friends are involved! Who doesn't love a 50% off date night?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cooking Light: Episode 19

We have been seriously delinquant in cooking out of our Cooking Light book the last month, but it isn't that we ddint' cook...just got stuck in the old standy-by route.

That all changed the day  I came home with three gigantic pork loins from Costco--seriously, why did I ever doubt this place?---and decided to take a stab at a very non-Greta meal  of Pork Tenderloin with Boiled Cabbage.

Ewww...who eats boiled cabbage. Disgusting. I don't even like sourkraut (and I don't know how to spell it either).

Well...apparently my taste buds have matured people because I LOVED this tasty dish.


I'm not going to lie (and Katie you should stop reading this now if you are), but eating a half a head of cabbage does not make the next day pretty if you catch my drift. But in was deliciously worth it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall Fun

With weather like this there is no other option to get ourstide and enjoy for every second you possible can.
Which is exactly what we did this weekend.
With an early morning bike ride to farmers market to get the last of the season's fresh veggies to an afternoon filled with corn maze fun--this weekend was A-MAZE-ing (get it...corn maze...).

Of course we couldn't just go through the corn maze with no fun or games. Nope, we quickly made it boys v. girls to see who had the top notch navigation skills. Katie and I were quickest first (although the boys claimed they helped a lost child...highly unlikely) the boys definitely dominated the rest of the day.



There is no other person in the world who is better suited to launch corn cobs out of a power launcher than Ryan Plonske. He had questions about the aero-dynamics of the cobs. He even asked if he could go pick his own corn. And while he may not have made it through the hole of the target, he did hit the target. All. 3. times.

 We are so lucky to have such great friends who enjoy the simple things in life like pig racing. Corn Mazes. Sno-cones and roasted corn.


I was feeling inspired from our Fall Fun day and decided that we needed to pep up our window boxes with all things autumn--gourds, pumpkins, tall grass. You know what I'm talking about.

Very Martha Stewart (or at least in my head it is).

And then just because we were on a roll--we carved pumpkins. Now, both of the pumpkins turned out great. Let's just say one is 'classic' while the other took a different--perhaps more involved approach.

And as I sit here munching on warm cookies that Nate just pulled out of the oven, I really couldn't imagine a better weekend.