Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Christmas, Kitchen!

One of our favorite things about our house is our kitchen.  One of our least favorite is our appliances.

Our appliances look fine.  When we moved in we thought they were fine.  Until we tried to use them.

The dishwasher, we eventually determined with the help of a repairman, was missing an entire spray arm.  Thanks for that previous owner!

The oven, I found out from a neighbor, had been a handy step for the children of a previous owner to use to reach the Halloween candy that mom (not so cleverly) hid above the oven. Our temporary solution:

No idea what happened to the seal on the fridge door, but likely I don't even want to know.

We eventually settled on repairing the fridge, but the others had to go.

So ta-da!

Merry Christmas, Kitchen!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Gingerbread Cookies!

I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to do more of my 'holiday stuff' this year.  Gavin and I made our Advent Wreath, but in the hustle of work and life, many of my intended holiday crafts and projects fell into the 'not important enough' list.  I was very proud of us for getting our Christmas cards completed and out early.

I was a little sad because the end of my collage class a few weeks ago technically meant the end of (or at least the winter recess of) Veggie Wednesday's with Alyssa.  But on Wednesday night, Alyssa was free, so she came to rescue my Christmas Spirit!

Alyssa is a baker.  Besides a red velvet cake here and there, I am not.  But she seemed confident enough that we could do it so we set out to make Ginger bread cookies!

Cookie Cutters?  Who needs those kinds of restrictions???

If you know Alyssa or I, you know that making a bunch of gingerbread men was out of the question so instead we ended up with...

Gingerbread vegetables, gingerbread wishbones, gingerbread dumbbells, gingerbread blueberries, gingerbread dolphin/sharks, gingerbread cards,

 Gingerbread mustaches, gingerbread sunglasses, gingerbread unicorns, gingerbread lassos, gingerbread monsters, gingerbread spectacles, etc...


Meeting Alyssa was certainly one of the highlights of 2010 (and there were lots of highlights this year!)  I'm so grateful to have someone nearby who's always ready for random adventures and craft time!  Thanks for awesome times, Alyssa!

What's for Dinner? Christmas Edition!

Merry Christmas!  This week was a little crazy with bad weather and the holiday!

A blog about what we had for dinner!  If you want to see our cookbooks, check out the cookbook shelf link at the top my the blog

Monday: Steer n Stein, Victorville, CA 
Terrible weather stopped our trip to Vegas for an interview for Gavin short, but when in Victorville,there's really only one thing to do!  This is probably one of my favorite restaurants.

Tuesday: JoJo's Pizza, Mission Viejo, CA
I wasn't feeling great, so we decided to continue my 'eat comfort food week' theme and I had angel hair pasta with marinara sauce.  Pasta also makes the best leftovers ever.

Veggie Wednesday: Baked Potatoes and Ginger Bread Cookies 
There is a post all about this here.

Thursday:  KFC

Friday: Christmas Eve!  Baked Potato Soup!
We didn't have a proper menu for this week so Friday morning we decided on our meals for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  The soup came out fantastic!  I had mine pureed and Gavin preferred his chunky. 

Christmas Eve


Saturday: Christmas Day, Griffin's Own Surf and Turf BBQ Lamb and Lobster Tails   
Not the conventional Christmas Meal, but man was it delicious!  We've never cooked lobster before and were actually reflecting on how even a year ago we would have refused to even attempt this type of a meal!   It was the perfect meal for our first Christmas as Mr & Mrs!

Sunday: Christmas leftovers!
Well in all honesty there isn't much left from Christmas!  But there's some Christmas Eve leftovers and some mashed potatoes!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

UPDATED! Wedding Video: Some Highlights!

Update:  As an early Christmas Gift I got this.  It is absolutely amazing.

Our wedding was wonderful!  Our awesome friend Bobby kindly offered to capture it for us on video and last weekend we saw the final cut for the first time!  I cried (again). I wanted to post a few of the clips:

 Arriving to the ceremony


Princess for a day!

These are our friends

Does this trick all the time??

Another magical moment of our magical day!

A super huge thank you to our friend Bobby who put this together.  It was so much fun to have him be a part of everything.  Video might not be able to capture all of the magic of the day, but it is and will remain an excellent reminder!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Puppy Playdate: Introducing Colby!

Last Saturday Chris and Sara brought over their new Australia Shepard.  He's an adorable little guy! Penny wasn't too fond of being herded, but they still seemed to get along more or less alright.

I'm not above bribing them into proximity

Merry Christmas, pup!

Colby is quite a bit harder on toys than Penny.  I captured the aftermath of some of the carnage.

Don't worry, Penny isn't much into toys lately anyway!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

What's for Dinner? #21

A blog about what we had for dinner!  If you want to see our cookbooks, check out the cookbook shelf link at the top my the blog

Monday: Sloppy Joes: Slow Cooker Recipes  
I seriously have the best husband ever.  He took the time to make this and put it in the crock pot so when I got home from work tired and cranky and hungry there would be food ready! What a sweetie!  Next time, however, we are going to use the recipes one of our moms used when we were growing up instead. 

Tuesday: Snickers and Milk
I had some salad earlier on in the evening and some left over chili, but I had a terrible day so I mostly just snacked.  I eventually came upon the above mentioned snack which is clearly the best snack ever.

Veggie Wednesday: Kids Quesadilla meal from Baja Fresh  
Did you know these things come with juice boxes?? And apple sauce.  And they let me order one!  Amazing.

Thursday:  Baked Potato
Gavin wasn't home on Thursday so I decided it was best to go easy.

Friday: Fig Bread and Salad Alyssa
Alyssa invited us over for dinner on Friday and made the same awesome cheese/onion/fig bread thing she made for us last week.

Saturday: Pizza Fondue: Slow Cooker Cookbook   
Saturday we had friends over for an awesome night I'll probably blog about later and Gavin and I made Pizza Fondue. Somehow, I missed getting a picture of it! It came out pretty good.
Sunday: Potluck with Cheryl
Tonight we are going to visit my sister for a potluck. Not sure what we'll have, but we're bringing fruits and veggies!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Penny Lane

Penny has been called many things.  Bird.  Alien.  Anorexic.  Funny looking.

I can attest that she has no eating disorder, but the others are still debatable!  Gavin and I got Penny in 2007.  She is originally from Iowa form a breeder we would never recommend to anyone.  Gavin flew to get her and then almost immediately left for the WSOP.  Not Cool.

The next few months I feel in love with and occasionally wanted to shake Penny. There were many sleepless nights those first few weeks, but overall, she's turned out to be a sweet pet who steals hearts everywhere she goes.

I did most of her puppy kindergarten/obedience training, but now Gavin and I do most of her training together before bed (in an attempt to exhaust her and ensure everyone gets some sleep!) 

Some of our favorite tricks:



Fly off into the sunset!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What's for Dinner? #20

This is my twentieth entry!

A blog about what we had for dinner!  If you want to see our cookbooks, check out the cookbook shelf link at the top my the blog

Monday: Shrimp fajitas  
We didn't use a recipe and that may have been a mistake, they were also just a bit too spicy for me!


Tuesday: Instant Mashed Potatoes
I tried to make this look more appetizing in the picture, but I guess there is truth in photography.

Veggie Wednesday: Salad and Some Cheesy/figgy/oniony/bready things.  
Not the official name, by the way. Very well done by Miss. Alyssa the Awesome.

Thursday:  Tomato and Basil salad with chicken and croutons: Crate and Barrel Newlywed Cookbook
Gavin adored this recipe.  It is a bit of time if you don't organize all of the pieces well ahead of time, but other than that it's not too difficult.  I think it will be much better with home grown tomatoes this summer!

Friday: Fettuccine with Asparagus and Herb Vegetarian Essentials
I had some major issues getting the sauce to thicken at first, but as it cooled, it was perfect.

Saturday: Slice of Cheese Pizza Z-Pizza  Red Velvet Cupcake Cinnamon Productions   
We didn't want to cook and I was hungry so after visiting the Nativity, we supported our local businesses! The pizza was good, but the cupcake was terrible.  I begged Gavin to take me to get a better one from Claim Jumper soon!

Sunday: Chili
A few weeks ago we froze some of the chili Gavin made.  We missed the rescheduled chili cook-off, so chili was for dinner tonight!  Freezing food is really something we should do a bit more often.  It was very convenient and while not fresh, still better than almost any store bought frozen food because at least we know exactly what's in it and that we love it.  Chili seems to freeze and defrost very well.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Santa Monica Promenade

Today Gavin and I headed up to Santa Monica to shop and meet up for lunch with Jen.  We failed at shopping, but had a great time at lunch at Barney's Beanery.  Always fun with Jen!

When I was in college, some of the people I hung out with LOVED Santa Monica. I never really got the draw.  There is so much weirdness/craziness that I usually just felt uncomfortable and ready to leave.  It probably didn't help that we always went at night.  Still, I was happy to take Gavin to check it out.  After all, it is the end of Route 66!  I can't tell you how happy I was when Gavin commented at preferring Huntington Beach to the crowd at the Santa Monica Pier. So to all my LA friends, I love you and I'll still come visit you, but I just don't think I'm an LA girl!

After our adventures, we stopped by the living nativity in our hometown, complete with Shepherds and sheep!  I've been trying to do something each week to prepare for Christmas and get in the Christmas spirit, and this was great.

There's no place like home!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Memory Lane: Diego.

After reading Nathalie's blog about Lizzie, it made me think about our first Dog, Diego.

Gavin had Diego when we meet.  He was the weirdest looking alien dog I'd ever seen... but we haven't gotten to the part of the story where I've seen him yet! 

Gavin planned our first date.  Gavin was still traveling but with the use of yelp/google/friends he devised an evening together of Greek food at a little resturant in Orange and Improv at a commedy club in Fullerton.  We had a great time.  Afterwards, I was dropping him off at his RV and he invitied me in.  I declined. 

"But... you have to come meet my puppy!"

Clever.  We see what you did there!  Much like Gavin, Diego stole my heart.  He also stole Gucci's bed.

A few months later, Gavin drove to visit me and Diego got to meet Gucci for the first time.  She never slept in the pink bed again, but really she loved Diego and after setting some ground rules, they got along wonderfully!  He would steal all of her toys from around my apartment, but them in her bed and lay on top of them.  She'd hiss, snarl, and eventually give up and make friends. 

 When Gavin decided to move to California, it meant a road trip.  Diego spent the entire ride curled up in my lap sleeping.  (Except for the few miles Gavin made me drive in which I got a speeding ticket!)

Diego was a great pet.  Gavin had taken a firm 'no training' approach with him, but he was still so sweet and loving.  Diego passed away in 2007, but I am so grateful that he was such a part of our early relationship and lives.

We miss you buddy!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Flowers are pretty.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What's for dinner?

A blog about what we had for dinner!  If you want to see our cookbooks, check out the cookbook shelf link at the top my the blog

This week still had alot of turkey left overs. But you can only eat so much turkey... hence the marked lack of meat on our menu, I think.

Monday: Elephant bar with Jen   
I didn't eat much and that didn't stop it from being one of my better dinners. :)

Tuesday: Shrimp Scampi: no recipe.
Buttered noodles with garlic and shrimp.  This was one of the first dishes I ever learned to cook and I'm not even sure how exactly.  Cooking shrimp is super fast and easy so no surprise I enjoy it so much!  (still hate peeling them, though)

Veggie Wednesday: Veggie Fritters and Asian Salad: Rachel Ray 365 
Sometimes I choose a recipe and then when it's time to make it go, this is going to be terrible, what was I thinking on Sunday!  Luckily, my initial opinion was correct.  Despite being a bit of work, I thought this dish was excellent.  Alyssa gave it TWO thumbs up.  (double inside joke)

Thursday:  Veggie Lasagna: William Sonoma Healthful Cooking
This is probably one of our favorite recipes from this book.  It's relatively straight forward (once you start using canned red peppers, anyway) and very tasty and healthy.  It makes quite a bit though, so we froze some of the extras since I couldn't convince Alyssa to use your house as a drive thru for some free awesome veggie fare.

Friday: Night work=leftovers.
BUT my wonderful husband did make me breakfast in bed.  It was an awesome day!

Saturday: Late lunch at The Ranch, Ice Cream and Apple Cider for Dinner    
Saturday was a smorgasbord or random food all day. 
Sunday: Greek Omelets: Crate and Barrel Newlywed cookbook 
Gavin made these delicious and very pretty omelets.


Friday, December 3, 2010

I'm not a cute runner.

Gavin and I ran the 5k on Thanksgiving.  Mission Accomplished?  Yes.  Fun?  No.  Besides dodging walkers up and down sidewalks the entire race, our lack of proper preparation was evident and the lack of parking was miserable  Not to mention 11,000 people is too many people to deal with for your first race.  Still, we finished, I had some small sense of accomplishment and a feeling of not having given up.   

Then I get the lovely email surprise that there are photos of said event.  Searchable by name.  Ick.

I look terrible when I run.  Really, I look terrible when I work out or get too hot in general.  My face turns red and blotchy.  I pull my face muscles into strange and unnatural shapes.  Generally, it's just not good.

What was most frustrating is my posture in the photos isn't particularly good.  Oh well.  I did it.

The photos don't really motivate or unmotivate me, they just are.

In the meantime, I'm back to my goal of running just my little loop, 2-4 times a week with no planned races or goals, other than to keep going.  I fully expect this to by my last 'running' post for quite a while.