12.28.2010

New Favorite TV Show



Dead Like Me. We got streaming Netflix and now I can't stop watching this. I mean, I stop, when the dryer buzzes so I can change out the laundry and maybe Swiffer or vacuum. But I've got to say... this is pretty entertaining.

And fun fact: Ellen Muth is a member of MENSA. How awesome is that?

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Yada, Yada, Yada...

That's all for right now.

Last night after letting Rusty in from outside, the door handle came off in my hand.

Yes, oh, yes... we have another broken object in our house.

So the things I've learned in the past year about owning a house:

1. Door handles come off in your hands

2. Step stools disappear to the garage leaving me to act like a monkey climbing cabinets in the kitchen.

3. I'm short.

4. Cutting in when painting sucks.

5. Dust from ceiling tiles sucks.

6. Sewer pipes are awful.

7. Hard water is not good for your hair or skin.

8. I still really like the layout of our house.

9. Gardening is relaxing.

And

10. I need to learn how to use a sledgehammer effectively.

12.21.2010

Crap.

I ran out of Christmas cards.

You know, our Christmas card list is comprised of our wedding guest list.

There were 120 people invited.

That was about 75 addresses.

And now there's way more people on that list.

And I've only gotten through 18 cards.

Crap.

Crap.

Crap.

I will be furiously writing out more cards this afternoon.

Did I ever mention how disorganized I can be?

12.20.2010

To Do List For Today

1. Purchase snow blower

2. Wait for it to snow another 8 inches

3. Use snow blower to clear driveway

4. Laundry

5. Do the dishes

6. Clean the kitchen

7. Wash the rugs

8. More laundry

9. Pull my hair out while I write Christmas Cards

10. Mail Dexter DVD to Netflix

11. Try not to lose my mind while I write out more Christmas Cards

12. Open a bottle of wine.

12.16.2010

Cute Canisters

Adorable right? They'd be cute in any kitchen! Find them here, at AllModern.com.

12.12.2010

Hey McTatty - Charlie Brown Wants His Tree Back

 Our cheesy Christmas tree. It looks so fake. Oh, well. This is what $16.99 gets you in 2003.
A close up of some of the ornaments. It's random. Sort of. Mostly from Ikea and then people keep giving us ornaments.

12.11.2010

Maple Rosemary Glaze Pork Chops

 Searing away in the pan. YUM. I do have to say that I absolutely LOVE my cast iron pan. It's the best gift ever. It's been camping, moved across the country with me and has taught me how to make bacon. YUM.
This recipe is from Joelen at What's Cookin' Chicago. She has so many FABULOUS recipes and has totally inspired me to cook more in the kitchen. I've been wavering between frozen pizzas and plain baked chicken lately, so I've been awful about posting recipes. NO MORE, I say, I WILL BE A BETTER COOK and try more recipes and be more daring... BTW, Bimmer Man loved this so I will add this to a staple in my line up of recipes to make. And it's super easy!!!

Maple Rosemary Glazed Pork Chops
recipe adapted from The New Best Recipes

1/3 cup pure maple syrup (preferably grade B)
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, or 2 teaspoons fresh
4 thick sliced pork chops or pork loin
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Season both sides of each pork chop/pork loin slice.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat and when it just begins to smoke, add the pork. Sear on both sides until well browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the seared pork onto a baking sheet and set aside.

Drain off the fat from the skillet; add the maple syrup and rosemary. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute. Place the pork back into the skillet to coat with the glaze and place the pork back onto the baking sheet.

Place the glazed pork into the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pork registers about 135-140 degrees. Allow the pork to rest for a few minutes before serving.

And Woke Up To A Blizzard

 Here's our back door. I've shoveled three times starting last night at 11 and the snow just keeps piling up.
 Not only is it snowing, but it's blowing and drifting. GAH!!
Here's out our front window looking at the neighbor's house across the street. You wouldn't even see where the sidewalk leading up to our house is without the stair railing!

Happy Saturday!

12.08.2010

Link Lovin'

I've been super inspired by the following blogs and websites lately, hopefully some are of interest to you readers...

The Heavy Table - Minneapolis/St. Paul Eating

What's Cookin' Chicago - by Joelen (whom I have starred almost ALL of her recipes in Google Reader)

Hooked on Houses - so lovely... and sometimes hilarious... and see celeb's houses!

Dooce

Meh, there's 4. I generally get bored if I click through more links. Go figure.

12.07.2010

Get In The Mood For Christmas



Because at this very moment I need some inspiration. I feel sorta Scroogy lately so I'm listening to Pandora's music channel. Not only do I like the Eagles, but this is one of my favorite Christmas songs.

So with a sigh, I'm giving in to the Christmas mood. I did put up the tree. It's a Charlie Brown tree. Seriously. I'll post pics later.

Music Flashback

The local radio station was doing an iPod game (hilarious) and there were songs on the morning show people's iPods that brought me back a few years:



Oh, and this one:


And who could forget this one:

Ah... Artwork...

Restoration Hardware $795

I love this subway sign art. But I'm not paying $795 for it, sorry Restoration Hardware. You may inspire me to do lots of things, but not purchase this stuff for almost $800. Not in the budget.

I guess I might have to photoshop my own...

Every Tuesday Morning

Without fail, I scramble to get the recycling out. Like right now... I hear the stupid beeping truck and I'm rushing around to get all the cardboard. BOO.

I promise to be better next week.

11.26.2010

Epic DIY Fail

I saw this awesome idea for a jewelry holder. 12 x 12 picture frame with 12 x 12 cork board inside (no glass).

Went to Target, bought the stuff, got home and guess what:

12 x 12 cork inserts do not fit into the 12 x 12 picture frame.

LESSON LEARNED: Try and fit the crap into the frame before you buy it. Oops.

11.24.2010

Chicken Cacciatore

This comes from one of my favorite blogs/websites to find recipes: Simply Recipes. Except for the dog. I couldn't resist showing pictures of Decker because he was being so good while I was in the kitchen.


Simmering away...
On low for 40 minutes...
Oh, it smelled SO GOOD.

Served with salad and homemade beer bread.


Chicken Cacciatore (Hunter Style Chicken) Recipe

Ingredients

  • One 3 1/2 pound chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped, firm ripe tomatoes (or canned plum tomatoes in their juice)

Method

1 Rinse chicken and pat dry. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat, add the onions and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally. Push the onions to the side. Add the garlic and chicken pieces, skin-side down. Cook until the chicken skin is golden brown, then turn pieces over and brown on the other side.
2 Season chicken with salt and pepper, on both sides. Add wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes, lower the heat and cover the skillet with the lid slightly ajar.
3 Cook the chicken in the simmering liquid, turning and basting from time to time. Cook until the thighs are very tender and the meat is almost falling off the bones, about 40 minutes. If the stew ever starts to dry out, add a couple tablespoons of water.
Serves 4-6.

Take A Tour of My Second Floor

So you know how I've been saying I've been busy? Well, let's see why. I'm painting upstairs and I might need some opinions, so please comment if you want to.
The new water softener will be installed this weekend. Hopefully. (Bimmer, you reading this?)
This is how Rusty chews on a Nylabone. And yes, he's lost 2 lbs, so he's not as fat as he was 2 weeks ago.
Decker, checking out Rusty and will try and get him to play.
The painting we got at the State Fair. It's pretty cool, right?
Now... onto the meat of this post. Here's the stairs going up. The living room is to the left, the dining room is to the right.
Now, shall I paint these walls too? The one with the window and the walls on both sides of the stairs? Yes? No?
Here's the closet at the top of the stairs and the new paint color. I will show you the old paint color in just a minute. The trim is now white, the walls are Martha Stewart Rainfall.
Nice blue and calm. Now - the stairs going down are to the left, and straight ahead is a dressing room and then the master bath. Closets are on the right.
Another one, Decker had to jump in the photo.
Here's the dressing room. Bimmer's dresser is to the left, crate is to the right, skylight to the right, master bedroom to the left, bathroom straight ahead. Disregard the mess. I didn't get it all cleaned up before Decker came. Also, should I paint that wall that's white now? Opinions please...
AHA!!! THere's that awful green. It makes me feel super jittery and a little unsettled. The blue is little and more calming. The green is just not great. Oh, well, I'm getting rid of it. This view is from standing in the bathroom and looking back at the dressing room and closets.
Here's a better look down the hallway and back to the stairs. That light fixture is awful too. That will be replace eventually.
Here's the new hook from Restoration Hardware for bathrobes and towels. I'm also painting the trim in the bathroom white. Brighter and easier to clean. Plus I just like white trim.
And old door knob on the bathroom closet.
The door knob that Bimmer Man pulled out of his closet door.
And the new knobs that are now on the closet doors. Awesome, right?

I wish I had before pictures, but I don't. Sorry. Too ugly to even think about!

11.23.2010

When You Want Calm Dogs...

Play classical music. Both are sleeping right now. Ok, well not sleeping, but they are both conked out on the floor in hopes that I might feed them later. I think if I listened to classical music all day, I'd probably be asleep too.

Here's what I'm playing right now:

11.20.2010

New Foster - Decker

 Look at those ears!
 He's gorgeous - a little underweight (nothing that a few eggs and extra cups of food per day can't fix)
 And Rusty, totally happy with his new friend. (Check out the new water softener... WOOT!!)
 Just a little camera shy...
But totally awesome! He's available for adoption with Pet Project Rescue, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

11.18.2010

Thursday's Thoughts

Black Friday or no Black Friday this year?

Hmm...

There are so many websites and blogs these days that list the Black Friday ads. I can hardly even keep them straight. I do like this one, however, I can't really think of anything that I need to buy. Gift or otherwise.

(Ok, that's not really true, but I can't think of anything that's a necessity to buy on Black Friday).

Well, ok, if I put a little more thought into it, I guess I can come up with a few things that I might want. But do I need them? NO.

1. Point and shoot camera. Best Buy has them cheap (Target has one for $79)
2. DVD or Blu-Ray player? Meh, we have a PS3.
3. New cookware (like a large pan that has a lid!!!!) Bed, Bath and Beyond
4. Dyson for vacuuming the dog fur? Maybe, but I don't want to spend $400 on a vacuum

Meh, I don't know. For 4 or 5 things, is Black Friday really worth it?

11.16.2010

So You Want To Foster? Here's A Checklist -

Of items that you'll need to keep your sanity.

We've fostered LOTS of dogs. And we've learned. A LOT. No, really, we have. We've learned things like:

1. Do not leave a dog that likes to chew unattended. A PS3 cord may be the item being chewed on.
2. Don't get attached to your carpet. It will be peed and pooped on.
3. Don't be afraid of diarrhea or puke. It happens. Think of it as practice for when you have kids.
4. Do have lots of chew toys.
5. Figure out the best place to buy bully sticks
6. Patience. Have a lot of it.

Ok, now here's a checklist of what you need:

1. Nature's Miracle Advanced Stain and Odor Formula 128oz (Gallon)
2. Dog dish
3. Another crate. Or maybe two more.
4. Extra leash
5. Another Halti or Gentle Leader or Gentle Harness
6. Double the dog food
7. Big bin for the foster's dog food, especially if they eat something different, and label it
8. Double the poop bags
9. Vinegar/water mix for cleaning
10. Paper towels
11. Vacuum or Swiffer for dog fur
12. Chew toys
13. Bully sticks
14. Contact information for the rescue, especially the emergency contact information AND their vet's info
15. The nearest pet store's address
16. Rescue Remedy - Rescue Remedy Pet, 10 ml ( Multi-Pack)
17. Patience
18. More patience
19. Lots of tears for when your foster gets adopted

Sometimes I forget that I'm actually organized when it counts. Well, for some things anyway. Mostly I'm disorganized. But when we have a foster, I know where everything is and I try and stay as organized as possible. You don't want anything chewed up or peed on. At all. Trust me. Pee does not smell good, especially when you put on a shirt that you know was clean the day before.

Have a great night!

Thanksgiving Inspirations

I'm thinking I'm liking the natural and organic elements this year. I mean, I like wood serving pieces, I like recycled glass, I like tea tree oil, and man, I think I'm turning into a Modern Hippie. Ok, not really because I like my Diet Mountain Dew and I do NOT own any Birkenstocks. Seriously, no Birkenstocks will be found in my house.

Moving on, here's some of my inspirations to go more natural in my serveware:

Horchow Natural Wood 4 section tray - $35.00

Pottery Barn Vintage Wood Cheese Boards - $15 - $29

Pottery Barn Found Baguette Board - SALE - $99

The Natural Abode 100% Recycled Drinking Glass - $4.95 Each

Gaiam Cinnamon Coaster - $24

Tuesday To-Do List

1. Finish painting the upstairs. And I mean, really, finish the painting.

2. Finish doing laundry

3. Haul the massive crate out of storage

4. Set up foster dog dishes

5. Get out the huge dog food bin

6. Dig out the fence and put up the chicken wire

7. PATIENTLY WAIT UNTIL NEW FOSTER DOG ARRIVES BY 9:00 TONIGHT. WOO HOO!!!

11.12.2010

Friday. Friday. Friday. WOOT!!!

Well, life gets in the way of blogging, that's for sure!

And why does life get in the way of blogging? Well, let me tell you...

1. I bought the Wicked Good slipper from L.L. Bean. And they're pretty much permanently stuck to my feet.


2. We've come to realization that the people that upgraded the upstairs used craptastic everything. So I'm painting. And Rusty the MONSTER is helping by painting with his ears.

3. And we need new hardware. The old bathrobe hooks pulled out of the wall so we're going with these Stable Hooks from Restoration Hardware:

4. Oh, wait, I'm not done yet with the craptastic upstairs. One morning Bimmer Man was getting dressed for work. He opened his closet. But it didn't really open. Why? Because the whole knob came out of the closet door in his hand. So we're replacing those too with these Hanson Knobs from Restoration Hardware:
5. We've gotten a gym membership. I've gained weight since our wedding three years ago and I've decided that I don't really want flabby arms. So now I go to Snap Fitness every other day. And run on the treadmill. And sweat my brains out. Exercising is not really fun yet, so I have to look at it as work, at least until I can run long enough to get a runner's high again and then it MIGHT be fun. Again.

11.01.2010

Weekly Menu Planning

GAH. Menu planning. I might plan one, but it doesn't mean that it happens.

Like last week. I wanted shrimp scampi. Did I ever make it? NO.

So this week I want Shrimp Arrabbiata

We'll see if that happens this week.

November To-Do List

1. Cook more.

2. Go to the gym 3x per week

3. Save $$$ for a vacation for next year

4. Vacuum.

5. Clean the carpet in the back porch and get a runner for it so the carpet won't get so dirty

6. Fix the broken fence gate

7. Organize the kitchen better

8. Organize my closet

9. Organize the upstairs bathroom closet

10. Read some books (as if that's not general enough...)