Monday, February 28, 2011

Lovely Weekend

This weekend was calm, quiet, and lovely.
Friday night, I cooked us breakfast casserole &
we caught up on our favorite shows (Community makes us laugh till we can't breathe).
We heart Joel McHale.

Saturday, Adam went into the office to finish up some projects 
& Sarah let me sleep in for the first time in weeks.
I completed several pages in our scrapbook (see below) &
I'm getting closer to getting caught up with it (which is on my life list).

Sunday, we went to the noon showing of The King's Speech.
The noon showing is only five dollars (we are cheap that way).
We snuck in a ton of soda and candy (we are rebels like that).
Plus, I'm completely obsessed with gummy bears & Swedish fish lately.
The King's Speech was such an amazing movie!
I'm so glad it won the Oscar for best picture, it totally deserved it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Georgetown Cupcakes

I've wanted to try Georgetown Cupcakes in Washington D.C. for years! They are supposedly some of the best cupcakes you can get anywhere. So when I learned you could have them delivered to your house, I was desperate to try them. So after a stressful week (i.e-dog sickness makes things sucktastic). We decided to treat ourselves, so I ordered up a dozen. The flavors included were: Key Lime, Mint Cookies & Cream, Chocolate Birthday, Salted Caramel,  Milk Chocolate Birthday, Red Velvet, Chocolate Ganache, Coconut, Choc PB Chip, Lemon Berry, Toffee Crunch, & Banana Split.

They were all to die for and most definitely the best cupcakes we've ever had. Our top two favorites were Choc PB chip & Banana Split. Yum! Now I'm just sad they are just about gone!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mama Said There'd Be Weekends Like This

(Proof My Dog is on More Medication Than An Old Man)

The last few days have been pretty calm here at Marten manor, which is good considering last week was super stressful. Wednesday night it became fairly obvious that our dog Sarah was very ill. So Thursday we took her to the vet, and we discovered in the last few months she had lost an insane amount of weight. Now Sarah was very pudgy before but we hadn't put her on any kind of a diet. And we hadn't necessarily noticed the weight loss because she has so much fur! The doctor terrified us because she told us she believed it could be something serious like cancer. You don't necessarily realize how much your dog means to your family until you think about losing them. We were nervous wrecks! They did a full work up on Sarah, including x-rays and blood work. Ultimately, they determined she had a bladder infection, ear infection, and hypothyroidism (meaning that her thyroid is not producing enough hormone). It is a common disease for golden retrievers, and it is responsible for a lot of her symptoms & is very treatable. But the appointments and medicines ended up costing us about $600 dollars. Luckily, we had the money from Adam's promotion, but it was our whole vacation fund.  Le sigh.  But we're just grateful we had the money at all.

Sarah is finally doing better today, but her bladder infection gave her so much grief over the weekend. No matter how many times we took her outside, she always felt like she had to go to the bathroom, even though she couldn't actually go. So she would spend hours pacing through the house in a panic and it was so hard to see her so upset. And then the antibiotics were upsetting her stomach, so she was vomiting after every meal. So basically I spent all weekend pacing the floors right along with her, and trying to keep her medicine down.

Then, Sunday night I got into the car to run an errand, only to find out our battery was dead! And not because I had left anything on, but because my old battery had finally given out. So we had to replace that on top of the money we had already spent on Sarah! It was not a good week for our pocket book...

But we are trying not to concentrate on our ruined vacation plans or empty pocketbook. So we've been chilling at the house and catching up on some of our favorite shows on the DVR: Community, The Soup, Office, Modern Family, and Justified. Plus, we are just so grateful to see our goldie feeling better, and acting like her happy go lucky self again. She makes us laugh.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cracking the In-and-Out Code

Lately it seems that everybody I know has been talking about In-and-Out. Oh, how they sing the praises of In-and-Out and worship at its altar. No, I'm not talking about the movie, but the fast food chain. If you did not already know, In-and-Out is a burger chain that is only located in a few states, and they are mostly located in California. Supposedly it is the best fast food burger around, as proven by their typically, astronomically long lines. Until recently, I had only bothered to try In-and-Out one time. I didn't remember being particularly impressed or unimpressed. But then I realized I had eaten In-and-Out while driving in the car. I've found that eating in the car tends to reduce the enjoyment of any food you are eating by about half.

I mean think about it. You are too busy stuffing your face while trying  not to drop anything on yourself to pay any mind to what you are eating. Although I hear if you drop a hot pickle on yourself, you can sue for a million dollars. God Bless America, right? But also who wants to be the chubby girl who gets in an car accident because they were really into their cheeseburger... How cliche can you get? And believe me, I don't want to be the girl they are talking about in that newspaper article.

But I decided I oughta try In-and-Out one more time, especially if I was going to continue to live in California. I gotta fit in. So I went to the fast food restaurant and ordered myself a burger and fries. Not a hard choice really, since there is nothing else that you can order. There are only three items on the menu: Burgers, Fries, and Shakes.  Or that is what they want you to think!  When I was waiting for them to make my order, I started looking around, and I noticed everyone had piles of what looked like chili-and-cheese on their fries.  I was stumped. Chili-and-cheese was no where on the menu. And it's not that I actually wanted chili-and-cheese on my fries, but I wasn't even given the option. I started to feel like the one person in the world not in on the secret. The kid on the playground who got picked last for kickball.

(On a side note I think my problems with being left out comes from the summer between my junior and senior year of undergrad, when I worked as a Target cashier. Sometimes I would work the closing shift, meaning that after the store closed I would stay behind to zone the store. Zoning is where you tidy up the store and bring all the merchandise forward (by the way, I can no longer go into any store without feeling the temptation to zone. It's a sickness). So one night, a manager that no one particularly liked, sent me to a section of the store to zone by myself. Sometime passed before it occurred to me that the store was really quiet, kind of dark, and that I hadn't seen any of my coworkers in a long time. I walked through the aisles, coming to the horrible conclusion that I was the only one in the store. My manger had released everyone, but forgotten about me. You would think this would be a fun experience because TV shows and movies always have those fun montages with people having the time of their lives after being left behind in a mall. Heck, even Natalee Portman makes being trapped in Wal-mart look like a laugh riot in Where the Heart Is, until, you know, she gives birth in the Wal-mart. But let me tell you its terrifying, and my trapped in Target montage involved a lot of pacing the aisles and wondering if I was going to be arrested for trespassing.  And it got worse when I realized that I was LOCKED inside the store. I had to call my manager at home to come let me out. But I can say that manager that was always a pain in my butt never bothered me again. )

I finally got my food and yes it was fabulous, but I couldn't help but feeling I wasn't getting the full In-and-Out experience because I didn't have the special fries. I made it my sole mission in life to figure out what those fries were all about. I didn't want to appear uncool or out of the loop by simple asking someone about the fries, so I did the next best thing: Googled it. You know sometimes google fails me. Sometimes I google a weird symptom I am having, only to have google convince me I'm pregnant. Also the other night google totally convinced me my dog was dying of cancer. But for once google was there for me, and led me in the direction of In-and Out's- secret menu. The fries I learned were called Animal Style fries. Animal style fries have melted cheese, spread, and grilled onions.

So I went back to In-and-Out to get my animal style fries and even ordered a Neapolitan shake (also on the secret menu). I was afraid they would not know what I was talking about, or would tell me I wasn't cool enough eat off the secret menu. But they didn't, and I got my animal style fries. And they were delicious.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day + Scavenger Hunt

I  love Valentine's Day. I've always loved Valentine's Day, and it never mattered to me if I was single or attached. As a child, OK even as a teenager, my mother would always leave some kind of Valentine's treat outside my bedroom door for me to find in the morning (my mom still sends me a gift for Valentine's. She sent Adam and me those tasty cake covered suckers in the last picture). I celebrated single awareness day with my girls in college, making faux mailboxes to hang outside of our dorm rooms ala elementary school, and fighting over who was going to get to buy the Hello Kitty Valentine's from the store. So now that I am married and chained to Adam for life (whether he likes it or not), of course I'm going to celebrate V-day.

We had a fun Valentine's day this year (or I should say days since we started celebrating on Sunday, and he took me out to eat at The Cheesecake Factory Tuesday night to beat the crowds. BTW, the new Reece's Peanut Butter Cheesecake there is amazing, and will totally sicken you with its sweetness. That my friends is a perfect combination).

On Sunday, I bought Adam his gift, a game for the Wii that he had been wanting. But I got so excited about giving the gift, that I actually ended up giving it to him on Sunday. But I didn't want to just give him his gift. So I made up a little indoor scavenger hunt, placing little semi-rhyming clues around the house for him to decode and find. It was incredibly cheesy, but incredibly fun. I really think he appreciates the little things I do to make things more special and fun. Although I asked Adam if he ever imagined if he would be married to someone who likes scavenger hunts, but he said he never imagined he would be married. So I guess that's a no to my question?

Some examples of clues:

Clue: "In this place it snows all year long/ Turn me over/I'll sing a song."
Answer: Snow Globe

Clue: "You have been shrewed/When figuring out clues./Now claim your prize/ From Freud's Shoes."
Answer: My Freud Slippers.

And yes I did hide the game in my slippers, thank God Adam doesn't have a feet phobia. But if you do, I apologize for the visual. Just know my feet are not nasty. They are cute and smell like fresh daises at all times.

P.S.-Oh and the second picture is Adam interrogating Sarah for the answer to a particularly puzzling clue.  Needless to say, she didn't know.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Superbowl

For the last six weeks or so, Adam and I have been anxiously glued to the TV every Sunday (and one Saturday) to watch the Green Bay Packers knock out all their competitors in must win games. And the moment they beat the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship game, and we knew for sure they were going to the Superbowl, we were ecstatic. We immediately decided we would have a small party. It's not every year that your team makes it to the Superbowl (although it should be). So you have to do it up right.

For a small party, we sure had a lot of food and a lot of decorations.  I made slow cooker taco chili and pigs in a blanket.  We had three different types of dips, and one amazingly good white cake (and after the game we actually put a fork in the Steeler's helmet on the cake because they were indeed DONE).  Our friends even brought egg rolls and pizza. We ate till we were sick. Literally. Adam actually got sick the next day.

I outfitted the coffee table with a green football table cloth and stocked Superbowl cups full of mints. I put three different types confetti over the table, which of course ended up all over the floor (it's one week later and I am still finding pieces of the confetti in mind boggling places throughout the house). I also picked up some Superbowl balloons from the grocery store. I must have looked like a much hipper and much younger version of the little old man from Up as I tried to force the balloons into my car and drive home without crashing into anything or anyone. Oh and just for your information, the amount of times Adam and I have mistaken that tower of balloons for an intruder in the night must be in the millions by now.

The game started off with a bang with the Packers taking an early lead, but by halftime it looked like the tide might be turning.  The tension was almost too much to bare, and if the Packers had ever started losing, I might have had to turn to The Puppy Bowl. Yes, I DVRED the puppy bowl. Shut up. It's PUPPIES! PLAYING FOOTBALL! But the Packers won 31-25!  It was a great moment and an great night. The excitement in our house was unreal. Now that the football season is over, we are a little bit perplexed as to how to spend our Sundays. Although we  ended up spending our first football less Sunday at IHOP. Pancakes always put us in our happy place.  

P.S.-Yes , I put yellow and green bows in our dog's hair for the Superbowl. She wanted to show some team spirit too.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sushi Class

Last weekend, I woke up really early for a Saturday. Heck, really early for a week day, since the earliest I ever start work is 3:30!  But I had to be in Escondido at noon, which is an hour and a half away. I stopped at a gas station and filled up on road trip essentials: ghardettos, lemonade, and reese's pieces. I had looked for sushi making classes in my area, but this one was the closet I could find that completely suited what I wanted to do. Plus I love just being able to get out and really drive, like away from the crazy city traffic (like I used to be able to do in the South).

The drive was beautiful, through the mountains and next to the Pacific Ocean. There was so little traffic, that I actually got there an hour early!  There were about 20 people in the class, and when the class started, I was so nervous! I just wanted to do really well. However, the teacher was really kind and patient. Her name was Meinko, and she is the author of the book, Sushi for Dummies.

We spent the first half of the class talking about ingredients, cooking the rice, and Sushi etiquette. Did you know that if you use tons of soy sauce on you Sushi in Japan, they will kick you out? It's like asking for ketchup at a fancy restaurant! Meinko is on a mission to stop Soy Sauce abuse, which thankfully I don't even like. After learning a little bit about sushi and sushi etiquette, it was time to get down to business.

She showed us how to add the rice to the kelp, and where to put the ingredients.  Most importantly, we learned how to roll the sushi. We learned how to make regular rolls and inside-out rolls. It was a lot easier than I expected it to be! We made three types: a cucumber/ginger roll, a wasabi salmon roll, and an inside/out roll with avocados, sesame seeds, crab, and radish sprouts. The last roll even included a mixture of fish eyes and Japanese mayo. Umm, I tried the fish eyes, and it tasted OK, but I couldn't get past the pop/crunch of the fish eyes. It just reminded me I was eating FISH EYES.

My rolls turned out well, but unfortunately my knife was a little dull. So when I sliced them, they didn't turn out as pretty. But I still think they looked pretty good for a first timer, and they tasted fantastic. I had eaten all of them by the time I arrived home!

I'm so happy I did this, and I'm even happier to cross it off my life list!  I really can't wait to get some more practice in. My mother is also demanding sushi when she comes down for my 25th birthday in May!