Monday, November 26, 2007

Post Thanksgiving Day Blues

So, JB and I hosted the big family event this year at our new house. We had my whole family over and a few friends too. We rounded off our brand new dining room table with nine people for the festivities. The house looked fantastic. JB worked his little butt getting things ready for the dinner and overnight guests. He finally finished the tile in the bathroom and it looks fantastic. I will have to post a picture of his excellent job just so I can brag again that it is finished. It only took six months of discussion and a little bit of nagging but he finally finished. I am happy.

But I digress... he also finished the baseboards on the first floor, mowed the lawn, painted the ceilings and finished a few other things that I can't think of right at this moment. I baked pies, prepped for dinner, made beds, vaccumed, washed the dogs, and generally picked up around the house enough to have my mother over for the night and not feel uncomfortable about it. At one point JB and I hugged, sighed and looked around at our accomplishments. It really is beginning to feel like our house. After only a few months we have unpacked all our boxes and are truly settled in.

The dinner was fantastic. I used a few recipes I found on the Williams Sonoma website and everything turned out yummy. We had a sage-rubbed butterball turkey, sage & sausage stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, creamed corn, rolls, green bean casserole, acorn squash, pumpkin pie, banana cream pie & french silk pie. We ate really late because we were sharing the holiday with my brother's girlfriend's family but everything turned out okay. It was nice not to have to get up and put the turkey in at 6AM. I can honestly say I'm not complaining about having the additional time in the day. We played a new game I found at called The Thanksgiving Box of Questions. It was a great way to entice conversation at the dinner table as well as get a feeling of what people were thankful for this holiday season. We also played on my parent's Wii during the night. Everyone took turns playing the different games on the big screen and my house was miraculously cleaned after dinner by my brothers and friends. God Bless great manners!

So, all in all the dinner was a success! I fell into bed after a rousing game of Five Crowns at around midnight. I was super tired and thrilled that everything had come together and everyone seemed to have had a good time. The next morning I got up and had coffee with everyone, then jumped into making pumpkin waffles. They took a bit of time but were worth it. I highly recommend trying them too. I will post recipes later when I have more time to post.

Happy Belated Thanksgiving~!

Monday, November 5, 2007

A Splendid Night Out

JB had a fairly good weekend at work. If you don't know, he currently has a consistant schedule of working graveyard shift at a local bar down the street from our house. He likes having the consistency of a shift and a graveyard schedule really isn't terrible for the relationship department. We may not get to sleep next to each other but at least we can have dinner and watch a movie at night. We still get some solid snuggle time in but instead of sharing the bed all night he leaves at 11.30 and I head straight into sleepy-time snuggled next to our hound dogs.

So, he had a couple of fairly good tipping nights from his regular gamers. Growing up in Las Vegas you would think I would have a better understanding of the whole industry and it's unspoken rules but until JB came into my life I had no idea. For example, did you know that you should tip at least 10% of any winnings from the slot machine to your bartender? I'm told this is an industry standard and bartenders actually get kind of mad if you don't. Apparently it is for the free drinks and extra attention they may give you whether you win or lose. Also, many of his regulars he actually sees come in to sit and play the machines 1-3 times a week or more depending on the player. That floors me! I can't imagine wanting to go in and sit down in the smokey bar and play video poker that much. I don't think I even play bubble breaker on my phone that often and I love that game (plus it's free). Ha.

Anyway, he had a couple of players hit on his shift and he was able to come home with some much needed cash. Yippee!

In order to celebrate this unexpected bonus we agreed that a decent dinner out was in order. We grabbed our entertainment book to look for a coupon and ended up at The Melting Pot. JB had never been and luckily we were starving because no matter how you slice it, 4 courses is a lot of food... We tried a few new yummy things that were on the specials list and one course just pops out above the rest: The Mediterranean Cheese Fondue. It was oh-so-lick-your-fingers-and-order-a-second-helping-good. I think if I can't find a recipe online I am going to try to recreate it. They make the dish at the table so I think I have most of it down. They start with a cup of dry white wine, followed with chopped garlic, shallots and dates, then added fontina and gruyere cheese and finished it all off with truffle oil. Mmm Mmm, just thinking about that mixture makes me hungry. I HIGHLY recommend making that little fondue at home if you get the chance or at least heading to the restaurant bar for their version.

Sigh. I love cheesey goodness.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Brief Overview of my Weekend

Friday afternoon my new dining room table was delivered! Wahoo!! I was sitting at work waiting for the news from my hubbie when I realized it was getting late and I still had yet to hear from him. After calling several times I finally bailed out of the office and rushed home in case he slept through the delivery. As I assumed when I finally got home he was sleeping ever-so-soundly and definitely would not have heard the delivery truck arrive. An hour or so later and my new table was in place! It is oh so pretty and can easily seat 10! I'm still not sure why this was a requirement for us but we easily have the space and as far as we are concerned the more the merrier!
After the arrival of our new and beautiful furniture I headed out to pick up my good friend Shauna. She was in town from San Francisco for the opening of our friend Brittany's new boutique in North Las Vegas so I decided to steal her away for a couple of hours. She came and got the nickel tour of our new house and then we met back up with Brittany and Giulianna for dinner that night. The next day we basically spent at the boutique watching fashion shows and trying on clothes. They had a fairly decent turn out and I even splurged and bought a few things. Afterward the girls went to a halloween party and I crashed. I have been struggling with a cold or allergies for awhile and it had finally taken its toll. Ah well, no biggie to have missed the halloween party as I'm not much of a fan of dressing up.
Truth be told I spent the whole next day in my pajamas napping and watching movie after movie. I didn't feel all that lazy because JB was in bed too. Technically he works graveyard so that is his time to sleep but it still helped me justify my laziness. Man, I really need to get better. I am so tired of feeling sick~ blah blah...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

New Furniture

A recap of our weekend includes shopping, shopping and more shopping. Phew! I am so tired of looking at furniture. I woke up Saturday morning ready for a day of dining room table searching with my mother when JB got home from work. He bartends at a local bar down the street from our house and his usual shift is graveyard so on the weekends we pass each other in the bedroom with a sweet kiss and general hello/goodbye. This Saturday, however, he returned bushy-tailed and bright eyed. He had a decent night and wanted to go furniture shopping too. So, I waited for him to shower and freshen up from a long night of beer pouring and smoke filled gambling.
We headed to the west side to meet up with mom and head out to look at all the local hot spots for any possible sales. We shopped for hours. Literally, hours. I think we started out our day at 10 AM and left the last store around 6:30 PM. It was a very long day and luckily I only slightly lost my temper once and this might have been a lack of food or drink. (Both JB and Mom know it is important to keep me hydrated and full during these types of excursions) The lucky thing is that after all that time we did not leave empty-handed. In our last stop of the afternoon we went into a new Lane Furniture store and found the perfect table. We bought the floor model and secured a deal that basically gave it to us for half the normal price. It is still a little out of our league but with the 13 month deferred payment I think we will be okay.

Now if only I can keep the basset off of it...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ode to the Jello Shot

No longer is the jello shot just for the drunken college girl or the crazy frat party filled with shot-gunning beers and keg stands. Oh no, it has been taken to the next level. Step aside Martha Stewart there have been improvements to this light-weight beverage of choice to make them tasty and acceptable to any "adult" party.
I give you the chocolate covered cherry jello shot:

3 oz. package cherry Jell-O8 oz.
(1 cup) boiling water
4 oz. crème de cacao
2 oz. vodka Maraschino cherries, with or without stems
4 oz. white rumChocolate “Magic Shell” ice cream topping
Spray can of whipped cream

Soak cherries in rum for at least 24 hours. Add some maraschino cherry juice if you need extra liquid to cover the fruit. Place one cherry in each empty Jell-O shot cup. Mix cherry Jell-O and hot water, let cool to room temperature, then add crème de cacao and ½ cup reserved rum mixture from cherries. Pour into cups so that cherries are submerged. Chill until firm. Cover with a thin layer of chocolate topping and place in freezer for 2 minutes. Top with whipped cream and serve immediately.

For more jello shots check out My Science Project.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thursday Three’s

Fun things come in 3's

3 things you WILL do in this lifetime:

1. Visit Australia with my husband
2. Have a child whether it be naturally or adoption
3. Learn how to bake bread like my grandmother did

3 songs with lyrics that have made you cry:

1. The Luckiest – Ben Folds Five
2. I Loved Her First - Heartland
3. Green Eyes - Coldplay

3 TV shows you enjoy watching (old or new):

1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
2. Angel
3. Scrubs

Dreams you once upon a time had, but that haven't come true and you're okay with:

1. To become a world renowned chef (I'm really not that great of a cook)
2. To marry a millionaire (I decided to marry for love, we're still working on the millionaire part)
3. To be a school teacher (Not a flexible enough schedule)

3 places you go/have been where you found a sense of peace:

Cliffs of Moher
2. In bed with my furry babies (the bartender included)
Bora Bora (there is something about the breeze coming off the ocean)

3 minor regrets in life:

1. Staying in a few relationships long after I knew it wasn't going to last forever
2. Not moving somewhere new after college and starting my own adventure there
3. Losing a roman coin ring my dad gave me in high school

3 clichés or common phrases that you tend to believe are true:

1. It is better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all
2. It could always be worse
3. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Friday, October 5, 2007

Crazy Bear Rescue

I saw this online this morning and thought I might share this crazy rescue of a 250 lb brown bear that got "spooked" right off a California bridge. It managed to cling onto the under-belly of the bridge while rescue workers strung out a net beneath, shot him with a tranquilizer and lowered him to the ground.

I just love a good warm and fuzzy animal rescue. Sometimes it is just the thing I want to read about instead of politics, sex scandels and Brittany Spear's custodity battle.

To read the full article click on this.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

2006 Most Challenged Books

The American Library Association is celebrating Banned Books Week this week. After stumbling across this list of titles I can only wonder why people get so up in arms about certain books. I don't know about banning these books from public libraries or trying to stop children from reading them because of their explicit language or homosexual themes but I can tell you that this particular list just makes me want to read them more. It only makes me question why are they offensive? Why should they be kept away from children?

One of the books below, "The Perks of Being Wallflower" was one of my favorites several years ago. It explores a socially challenged boy going through his teenage years. He deals with death, depression, music, emotional rollercoaster... I'm not sure what is so wrong with reading it other than the fact that a confused teenager could identify with the main character plight...

So, with out further adieu...

The “10 Most Challenged Books of 2006” reflect a range of themes, and consist of the following titles:
“And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, for homosexuality, anti-family, and unsuited to age group;
“Gossip Girls” series by Cecily Von Ziegesar for homosexuality, sexual content, drugs, unsuited to age group, and offensive language;
“Alice” series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor for sexual content and offensive language;
“The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things” by Carolyn Mackler for sexual content, anti-family, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;
“The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison for sexual content, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;
“Scary Stories” series by Alvin Schwartz for occult/Satanism, unsuited to age group, violence, and insensitivity;
“Athletic Shorts” by Chris Crutcher for homosexuality and offensive language;
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky for homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, and unsuited to age group;
“Beloved” by Toni Morrison for offensive language, sexual content, and unsuited to age group; and
“The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier for sexual content, offensive language, and violence.
Off the list this year, but on for several years past, are the “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger, “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


To start things off I am going to share a list that was sent to me this morning in honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day (which apparently is today)

Top Ten Pickup lines for use on International Talk Like a Pirate Day
10 . Avast, me proud beauty! Wanna know why my Roger is so Jolly?
9. Have ya ever met a man with a real yardarm?
8. Come on up and see me urchins.
7. Yes, that is a hornpipe in my pocket and I am happy to see you.
6. I'd love to drop anchor in your lagoon.
5. Pardon me, but would ya mind if fired me cannon through your porthole?
4. How'd you like to scrape the barnacles off of me rudder?
3. Ya know, darlin’, I’m 97 percent chum free.
2. Well blow me down?

And the number one pickup line for use on International Talk Like a Pirate Day is …

1. Prepare to be boarded.