Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Note

Here is my dessert that I made for Craig's work this year. Remember I made those little turkeys with the oreos and stuff, found here last year? Well, on Sunday Craig said that people at work had been asking what I was going to make this, well, I didn't know I was going to make anything so I had to get the gears going. I had found this awesome no bake pumpkin cheesecake recipes on a ww site and LOVED it. I made it for people at work a while back and it was yum so I thought I would make that but add some little turkeys to the top. After taking the pictures I decided that Reese's buttercups went better with pumpkin than York mint patties so I changed them out. I also made a few turkeys that didn't go on the pie. If you are interested in the recipe, it is here. She has some other good recipes...I also made this potato soup a while back. It would good but I would use a few more potatoes and just know that it is not full of cream so it is good but not like restaurants.

Anyway, hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Allergies SUCK!

Ok, everyone knows I am allergic to cats and dogs (though cats don't seem to bother me as much) but now I am also allergic to everything.

I have been having some issues with the asthma since I moved...not just allergies but the actual breathing part (claritin helps the allergies) so I decided to go to an allergy doctor I HATED mine in Atlanta and there are different pollens here...more hardwoods, no pine. Yesterday was the big day and sorry for complaining so much on FB about no meds all weekend. They decided that since I hadn't been in a while they would test me again to see what I was allergic, they poked me 42 times...yep, 42 and discovered that I am allergic to every pollen they tested me for, ragweed, horses (random, why do they even test that and I have ridden them before with no issue), cats, dogs, and dust mites. The only thing I wasn't allergic to was I guess that is good. The doc said that the cats are probably just the straw that broke the camel's back. I am equally allergic to dust mites ....which are EVERYWHERE and there is no way to prevent them totally, you just have to wash stuff and get rid of them. SO, since I am equally allergic to those I was pretty much at my tolerance level so when you add the kitties it sends me over the edge. Fun times. I am really glad that he didn't tell me to get rid of the cats because that is not an option. As silly as it sounds, I am only home half the time and I love them so much that the benefit of getting rid of them would not outweigh the sadness we would feel. I do have to work on not letting them sleep with us (I think that will be harder on Craig than them and I don't feel as bad since there are two of them and they can cuddle together).

The other piece of news was a little more concerning but I guess not any more surprising. Whenever you go to the asthma doc they have you do this little thing where you blow into a tube and it measures your lungs and some doc stuff I don't understand. Well, I didn't do so well so they made me do a breathing treatment. The sad part is that I didn't know I felt bad. I have had this happen before...when I was younger I went to the doc for a regular checkup and they wanted to put me in the hospital because I was so bad off but I felt fine. It was a little scary but I thought it was a one time event. Apparently I don't have any perception of when my asthma is really bad...this sucks for two reasons. 1. by the time I FEEL bad, it is REALLY bad and 2. since I can't tell when I feel bad my doctor wants to put me on meds every day.

I am a little more than upset by all of this. I was on medicine from the time I was 8 until my last year of college and I was so proud of myself for getting off of them. Now it looks like I am going to be right back on it. I have been trying so hard to eat less processed foods and have been doing well at it and now I have to put chemicals in my body every day (I didn't take Claritin every day). I guess the good news is that supposedly the medicine I am on is pretty low dose and I just needed a little kick but that still doesn't make me feel a ton better.

We are going to get an air purifier and some encasings for our bed stuff which should all but eliminate the dust mites and then help a little with the kitties. Since I wasn't doing anything with the dust mites before I am hoping this will help balance out the addition of the cats.

Sorry for the downer post and in the spirit of the holiday, I am thankful that I am relatively healthy and that to most people this would seem so minor.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Making friends.....

Is making friends in a new town a little like being 35 and single but desperately wanting to be married? I sort of feel that way. I think that I have told you guys about the girl that Craig is friends with that just acts weird toward me and that I have tried to be friends with but she just isn't interested....which upset me but whatever. He really doesn't hang out with her anymore since I am here because he didn't like me being upset. Well, now he has another girl that he plays soccer with and has for a long time, that I am going to try to hang out with. It is just so sad. I feel so desperate. But, on Tuesday at soccer she told him that she joined a gym near our house and wanted someone to workout with. She wanted to try the spin classes and the pilates classes but not by herself. Craig told her that I go to spin all the time and when he got home he gave me her number. I was going to a class the next night so I texted her and we were all set to go together. Then she used UA in her text and I got confused....turns out there are two gyms right across the street and she goes to the other one...ugh. But, I texted her back and asked if she wanted to get a drink sometime and she said yeah...what about that night. I wasn't really prepared for that and hadn't taken a shower and was about to go to the gym so I asked what other days she had free. We are set up to grab a drink on Monday night. That sounds promising. The other girl I asked to have a drink with me (Craig's other friend) said that sounded good and she would let me know when she had a free night (that was 4 weeks ago) so this is much more promising. I have met her before because she used to be married (husband cheated with her best friend I think) and we went to her house for the Superbowl one year. She is also from Wisconsin and a huge Green Bay fan and goes to the Crew (soccer) games that we go to. Sounds promising. Craig saw her again last night at soccer and she was saying that she didn't have many friends here anymore cause they moved (well, and the one was sleeping with her husband) and her closest friend was moving now or just moved. So, we will see how Monday goes. I just feel like it is like dating....It is hard too because I think that boys are just different and he doesn't understand my need for girl friends. I guess that girls get stuff from girl friends that guys don't need to get from their guy friends.

The DG girl that I had drinks with that one time is in school but I think that she is done with finals now so hopefully she will be able to make it out in the next couple weeks or so and I even talked her into playing kickball in the spring (which will be a good way to meet lots of people) but then I couldn't find a team here. I could probably start it up but that seems like a ton of work. I swear I saw something last spring so I am going to have to search a little more.

Anyway, making friends at 30 just seems like dating.....don't you think?

Super nervous about the photography this weekend and hoping that it goes well. I have a 10 month old, 6 month old and then one family with a 12yr old, 8 yr old, and 2yr old. All boys....YIKES!!

In other news....Craig agreed that we can get Ariyana for the day one day over the xmas break. I am so excited and sort of surprised that he would agree to take on a 2 yr old that he is not even related to in any way (not even by marriage). I don't know many guys that would do that but I think that he secretly thinks that she is the cutest thing ever!! We are thinking about taking her to the children's museum or the aquarium or something. Should be an interesting day :-)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Whirlwind Week....

Whew...last week was a long but fun just seemed like the beginning and the end were two different weeks. I am happy to be home but I had a blast in Atlanta last week!! I got to see lots of people and UGA won!! Go DAWGS!! I went out with Chad Friday night and was tipsy after 3 beers, then met my sister on Saturday morning for a long breakfast and chat and then headed to the game. It was fun tailgating and getting to sit with Erin and Dave at the game. I don't get to see them as much as I used to so it was fun to hang out for a few hours at the game! Dave's light up mug was definitely a hit. Unfortunately we had to sit in traffic FOREVER to get home. Dudley didn't drop me off until 2:15am!! UGH.

Since Sprout has received his/her gift, I can now post a pic I am not trying to brag, but this was my first quilt and I was pretty proud of myself. I found a book that I LOVE. It has real projects in it...not granny stuff. I made so coasters from the book too. I bought another book recently that I liked for quilting too and see a couple more on amazon that I might like to pick up :-)

Other than that, the exciting news in our house is that we got a new hot water heater and water softener today! I know, big news. The water here is so hard that it is ridiculous..your skin feels awful afterward and my hands are killing me after washing my hands during cooking dinner. Now, I took a shower tonight and didn't have to apply a bottle of lotion and my hands are not all dried out from washing them during cooking. It is wonderful. Craig has spent the evening cleaning out all of our faucets because they were so clogged by the deposits from the water...yuck!

In the photography world, I actually got a call for a two new clients over the weekend. One is a completely new client, not even sure how they got my name yet but I am going to assume my google ads. The other is actually related to some clients I had in Atlanta. I am going to do two, maybe three sessions this weekend :-) I am excited. I am done with my Atlanta clients other than three so it is really time to build it up here. I figure that the winter will be slow because it will be so cold so I am excited to at least get a few in and to get some extra spending money.

I am starting to get ready for xmas. I pulled out some lights tonight to ask Craig when we can hang them up...unfortunately we have no plug in the front of the house so we have to figure that out. Next up this weekend is figuring out the advent calendars. I got one for Ariyana and one for us. My idea for Craig and I is to have us either pick odd or even and put little gifts in there for the other to open and we will take turns. It is dorky but a friend of mine did it with her husband and I thought it was a really cute idea. Craig didn't seem totally opposed but not super thrilled either. Anyone have any ideas what I can put in there for him?? The one for Ariyana I am going to fill this weekend and mail it to her. I asked for some suggestions on facebook but if you have any and didn't post them there, post them here. She is 2 and I got suggestions of stickers, bouncy balls, candy and raisins. I think that those are all good options. The boxes are only 2inx1.75inx1.75 in so they are really small.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Another early day....

I have another early day flight is at 6:15 to Atlanta...I seriously can't believe how fast this week has gone. I am back to temporarily doing what I love at work (problem solving) so it makes the days fly by and now it is halfway over. I can't believe it. It looks like I am going to have to come back here in December. I am not too excited about that but I know I have to do it. So much for not traveling the rest of the year.

So, I tried the gingerbread latte this morning at Starbucks. It was pretty good but I wasn't overly impressed (especially considering it was twice the calories as my normal latte). I really want to try the eggnog one but it is REALLY a lot of calories. I have been eating so well lately that I hate to drink away so many. Maybe I will try it next time I travel here.

Anyway, not much tonight...looking forward to seeing all my Atlanta people in the next few days!

Monday, November 9, 2009

On the road again....

Whew, these posts are getting fewer and farther between. I guess that I don't have much exciting going on in my life lately...I am sure you are all on the edge of your seat to hear about my weekend of crafting, raking, and shopping for hot water heaters, but I will spare you the details.

I am back on the road...though only for a week and I think that this is the last time I will have to travel this year other than the week I will be home for xmas WITH A CAR!! Craig is coming too so if anyone wants to do dinner or anything, let me know...we have 0 plans so far.

It was harder to leave this time because Craig and I have been together for 3 weeks straight...the longest since I moved and it was nice....well, better than nice, it was awesome. We got into a little routine and I got to actually spend time with him (the whole reason I moved...hello). I was able to cook dinner every night and we could snuggle up on the couch and watch TV or football or a movie. It was awesome. Then I wake up today (at 4am) and have to go get on two planes and spend tonight in a hotel alone :-( Boo! Oh, well, hopefully I am going to get some extra work done at night so I can really enjoy my Thanksgiving.

So, I was thinking of making some Christmas gifts this year....not like a popsicle stick picture frame or anything, but maybe using my sewing/crochet/knitting skills. We will see. I made something for someone who has something coming up (had to speak in code because you read this) yesterday and I was really pleased with how it turned out. I hope that she will like it too. There was just something really rewarding and fun about doing it myself and then having Craig impressed with how it turned out :-) I will post pictures as soon as the gift is given!

Other than that, the only other news is that I tried a new haircut person last Friday. I was very scared about this. With my naturally wavy hair you have to cut it just right or it doesn't lay right (yea, I know, you wouldn't know that by looking at my hair, but true). This lady cut it once while dry and then again while wet. I about had a heart attack when she started cutting long pieces out of the 12 inches long pieces, but she said she was thinning it out. I have never had that done before but I do have thick hair so I let her snip away. I was not sure how I would feel about it. We also tried side sweeping bangs...which never work well on me because of said thickness mentioned above, but I let her try it. Now, whenever I get my hair done I never judge by what it looks like when they fix it but wait until I fix it.....well, yesterday was the first time I did it myself and I have to say that I like it. It does feel really thin and I am not sure I love that part, might tell her not to do that next is about to be freezing in OH, I need all the warmth I can get, but I do like the bangs....she did thin those out so they actually lay guys will have to let me know what you think.

I go to Atlanta at the end of the week and lots planned.....drinks with my friend Chad, lunch with Rebecca, game with Dudley, Erin, Dave, Morgan, and hopefully Drena and Adam, breakfast with my sis for her birthday....and all that in 3 days!! YAY!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dudley's Visit and French Onion Soup

This past weekend Dudley visited me in Ohio....I feel so special to have only lived here for 7 months and to have already had 3 sets of visitors...and Dudley said the bed was super comfy (it is my bed from Atlanta) so if anyone else wants to try it out......

We pretty much relaxed most of the weekend. We had Mexican Friday night and then did the outlet mall and watched our game and gave out candy (to the whole 10 kids that showed up) and then on Sunday I showed her downtown Dayton and we watched a couple movies. I didn't have much exciting planned but it was nice to just hang out and watch movies and relax. I feel like I have been going hard at work lately trying to make up for my senior being on maternity leave (though she still promises she is coming back) and I had been traveling a lot so it was some much needed rest.

Tonight I tried a new recipe and I really liked it. It was for homemade french onion soup and was really easy. I included it here for anyone that wanted to try it. I am still looking for crockpot ideas if anyone has any.

French Onion Soup - makes about 3 big bowls....maybe 4, will have to let you know after lunch tomorrow :-)

3 onions
3-4 TB of butter (depending on how much you need, I used 4)
4 cups water
3 beef bouillon cubes (or three tsp of the beef bouillon powder)
(you can use 4 cups of store bought beef stock in place of the water and bouillon)
2 TB of flour
1 TB of Worecheshtire sauce
1 clove of garlic (optional and you can put more, I was testing)

Chop up the onions and the garlic.
Sautee the onions and garlic in the butter until they are limp and start to become clear with a little browning on the edges.
While waiting for the onions to cook, mix up the bouillon and the water so it has time to dissolve, this makes your beef stock. You can also use already made beef stock and not have to add these two things together.
When the onions are done, add the flour and Worechestire sauce in and then the beef stock slowly, bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 mins.
While simmering I toasted a piece of sourdough bread (just the kind in a loaf for sandwiches) and put my provolone cheese slices out on the counter so they would melt easier.
When the soup is done simmering, pour it over the piece of sourdough bread (I tore it up in the bowl and poured the soup over it) and then put the slices of cheese on top (we used two cause it was small slices). They will melt.

It was SO GOOD and filling!! I will say that it is a little on the sweeter side compared to restaurants and isn't as salty but Craig and I both liked it (and Craig didn't know that the french onion soup in restaurants had onions...seriously, that boy has no idea what goes into food.)

If you have a good crockpot recipe, let me know.