Saturday, November 29, 2008

Weekend in Arizona

Well, I drove down to sunny Scottsdale, Arizona on Thanksgiving day to visit my family. I had to leave the husband by himself in Las Vegas cause he had to work.
The weekend has been ok so far, a lot of family and too much food!!! I have eaten my parent out of house and home and I was just at my sisters house and found the apple pie she had brought over for Thanksgiving, I tore into it like a crazy person! I guess that's what happens when you watch what you eat all the time, and then you are suddenly surrounded by cakes and pies for four days and your will power just has to finally break. I'm keeping up with my running schedule though, so I don't feel too bad.
I took some pix which I will post when I get home. I got to see one of my nieces who just turned one and is so frickin cute I cant stand it. But I will show some pictures when I get home and can blog in peace and quiet.
I hope everyone had a good turkey day! Im off to stuff my face with Mexican food! I love Arizona!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Summing up the Weekend

Well, my Mother in Law has left Las Vegas. Surprisingly, the visit went without a hitch. No feelings were hurt and she even bought us lots of presents since we are stuck here for Christmas by ourselves.

On Thursday night we went and saw the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the MGM Grand. They have been around awhile, playing classical music and Christmas Music with a rocked out twist and a lot of pyro effects. It was pretty cool and because I suggested it and bought the tickets, I got brownie points from the In, yea for me.

So, now that my Hubby's mother is gone, I can hopefully get back to my normal schedule. I know most of you runners run in the morning, but I just cant do it. For some reason waking up an hour earlier in the mornings destroyed my day.

I also wanted to share with you today some things that I am excited about.

First of all, I made some goodies for Hubby's mom, she pretends to not like sweets, but I always catch her sneaky chocolate and desserts when no one is looking, so I knew she would like for me to have some in the house. I made cookies, banana-chocolate chip muffins and my Baklava. She went to college in Greece, so I was interested in knowing what she thought of my Baklava. Turns out she said its one of the best she has had.

Baklava Recipe:

7/8 lb. of almonds (ground)

1 cup Butter (Melted)

2 tsp. Cinnamon

1 pinch of ground clove to taste

1 lb. fillo pastry

A little lemon juice

2 cups of sugar

1 cup of honey

2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cup water

Directions: Mix almonds, cinnamon and cloves; Butter a pan (9x13); lay 4 fillo sheets down and spread a thin layer of mix, then add 2 fillo sheets and continue on with the butter and mix, layer the fillo sheets in between. Top off with 4 fillo sheets.

Cut into squares before you bake in oven at 350 for 35 to 40 min.

Mix: sugar, honey, vanilla and lemon juice in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and Pour over Baklava. Let stand for a few hours before serving.

Trust me, its pretty Yummy.

And for you coffee lovers, I have some good holiday suggestions for you. If you have a Cost Plus World Market in your town, you should pick up some World Market Pumpkin Spice coffee. Im addicted and may need to go back and stock up before they stop selling it for the season. I also am glad that they have Cafe Du Monde Coffee and Chicory. I haven't been able to find this since I lived in New Orleans. I love it, it reminds me of the south. Its really strong and good for a wake up call in the mornings.

Before heading out for the gym, I would like to share with everyone how no matter how we torture my dog, he will let us get away with anything...

Well, enjoy the rest of your weekend, and have a good Monday!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My new stressful life

So, I wish I looked like this when I was stressed!
I had spent the last 6 weeks in an academy for my new job with child welfare, and now I am done and have been in the real world for a couple of days, and yeah, it has been the most hectic and stressful time of my life, and weirdly, I love it!
It is so nice to finally have a job where I'm not being paid to sit around and play Yahoo! games all day, cause, as fun as that might sound, I think in the long run it actually made me a little dumber.
I now go to work and by the time I look at the clock its like 1pm and I realize that I haven't used the restroom or eaten all my last job I was so bored I made it a point to pee ever half hour just so I had a reason to get up and I ate every 5 seconds cause I had nothing else to do...
Even though I'm really stressed and don't feel like there is enough time in the day, I finally feel like there is meaning in my life and that I am actually contributing to society. I now have a reason to have a business card (I was always so jealous of those who had them) and I actually have so much to do that I can never get it all actually feels GREAT!
I'm sure in about 2.5 I'm going to be wishing I had never said all this, but for the time being I am finally happy in a job I am actually using my degree and people actually have a reason to respect me, so, yea for my self esteem!
I now have to go pass out because I'm too exhausted to wait till 9pm to go to sleep. Lame!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My Mother-in-law is coming into town this next week...I am in panic mode.

My Mother-in-law is different. She is from Belgium, so she has a lot of old school European thoughts and ways. When she comes I feel a lot of pressure and anxiety and I turn into this emotional wreak (inside my own head, I try not to show her my weakness).

She comes from the old school thought of "taking care of her husband and family." Now most women feel this way, but she takes it to the extreme. Like, I've never seen her husband lift a finger, sort of thing.

Perfectly lovely woman, very nice and helpful (overly helpful). When she comes I feel like my house has to be immaculate, I have to have baked goods around (well, we all know that I always do anyway) and I feel like nothing I do is right. Like she buys cleaning supplies for my house, and insists on taking us grocery shopping and getting food that my husband may have like once in his life (when he was like 5 ).

I like to cook pretty healthy, but for some reason she insists that I make her son Chinese food every time she takes us to the store, (even though he has never in our relationship asked me to make Chinese food or even hinted at the fact that he would enjoy that).

I finally had to tell her that she should stop buying things just because she thinks they are a good idea because it will go to waste and I think that is ridiculous. (Apparently that comment did not go over well, and I have had to be SUPER NICE ever since to make up for it).

Anyway, so right now I am in panic mode and its Saturday and I have been up since 6 am cause I feel like I have to clean my house spotless and bake and grocery shop (so she understands that I do feed her son). AHHHHHH! STRESS!!!!

And I know that this is selfish, but my running schedule is going to be thrown off (I like to run at night and I have to switch to mornings, I HATE THAT!). So right now I am just a HOT MESS!

Well, Back to ripping my house apart in an attempt to have it spotless...Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Oh God!!!

So, just realized Sunday while looking at super cute Christmas Tree ornaments at Joannes that I CAN'T GO HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!!!! I am 28 years old, and this will be the first time in my life that I am not going to be at my parents home for the holiday...I got extremely depressed and stormed out of the store...
My new job gives me only Christmas day off...not the day after as well, and because I am on probation for the first year, I cant ask for it off. Im really depressed about this. Granted I will for the first time in my life be able to buy a tree and decorate it (which actually really excites me), and I will be able to make all the cookies and candies I want. Although these things are activities I will enjoy, I really am going to be freaked out on Christmas day.
I will miss X-mas eve with the fam. Going to church with everyone is great. This is also a good time to see friends from high school that I haven't seen in years. After church my family eats a big Italian dinner (we are an Irish Catholic Family, dont ask why our X-mas eve tradition is an Italian feast).
On Christmas day my mom always makes a really great egg casserole, and pecan sticky buns. This is my favorite. I think Im going to need her to some how overnight these things to my house. I may not be able to deal.
My husband has to work on Christmas eve, of course, so once again I will be going to church alone.
Wow, I know, I am feeling quite sorry for myself right now, but Im just going to be like this for a second till I get use to the idea. So, im gonna go eat the apple pie I just made and pout...Ho hum!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Those Silly Teenage Years

Last night my husband and I went and saw Role Models, with Paul Rudd, Sean Patrick Scott and that kid from Super Bad (McLovin'). This movie was wicked funny. It was offensive, crude, and shocking! But I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.
This movie for some reason sent my brain into this mode where I just started remembering all the silly things I did as a teenager. It may have to do with Paul Rudd (Clueless) and Sean Patrick Scott (Stiffler, American Pie).

So, I have always had this thing for Paul Rudd. When Clueless came out I fell head over heals for him. Anytime I would see his pic in a magazine I would hang it on my wall in my bedroom. (at the same time I also had a thing for Pete Sampras, the tennis player, that was a
weird stage in life for me).

I may get off the subject now, but I was reminded as I talked about putting pictures on my wall of all the pictures I use to wallpaper with. I had a whole wall dedicated to "hot guys" in my room. I distinctly remember some of them. I had a couple of Nicolas Cage, circa The Rock, Con Air and Face Off (apparently I liked receding hairlines and bad acting at that time in my life). I totally had a pic of him in my locker sad for me.

I also remember a lot of GQ pictures of Tyson Beckford. I thought he was the hottest guy to ever walk the face of the earth. My Grandfather use to subscribe to GQ. Wow, for a boy crazy teenage girl, that magazine was a dream come true. I had all sorts of models hung in my room. He use to get mad at me if I was ripping pages out before he read the issue. Actually I recently bought a GQ for my husband, it had Seth Rogan on the front of it. I was looking through, and all the advertising had these little skinny boys that could possibly pass for pre-pubescent girls. I guess I am dating myself, but I really hate the look of guys today. They seem a bit too feminine for my taste. I like a man with substance, maybe one that can grow facial hair even. Some of these guys don't look as if they are even able to shave yet.
Sometimes I miss those teenage days. The days when I use to just talk on the phone with my girlfriends for hours gossipping and talking about nothing. Being obsessed with the latest teen throb, and confessing my deepest darkest thoughts in my diary. I just recently got a package from my parents with some of my things from my old bedroom. I had old diaries in there. Wow, the topics I use to write about. It all seems so foreign to me know. I can barely remember those thoughts and feelings. It was like reading the pages out of a strangers memoir. Kind of disturbing.
Anyway, I think I have gotten off to subject. My point I guess is just to remember those simple days where the most one had to worry about was which party they should go to that weekend, or who was taking who to the school dance. I really want to go back to high school sometimes, I actually had a pretty good time. Not enough drama to ruin the rest of my life, but just enough to keep things interesting.
Well, Happy Saturday, and hope others have some good past memories that make them smile when they think back.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Thank you again for all of you who sent your good wishes to me over the past days.

In order to keep myself busy I did some baking over the weekend. I also did something I don't thing I have ever done. I rode my bike 4.3 miles to the gym on Saturday, ran 4 miles and then rode my bike back home. Im not much of a bike rider, but for my birthday last year my hubby got me a bike, so I guess I should start using it. My butt hurt really badly when I was done, but it was a nice day and it helped me get my mind off of things.

I took Perry to the dog park. I have never done this before, Walter had some bad habits having to do with other dogs messes, so I avoided going. Perry seemed to not care about the other dogs and instead decided to be the official dog park greater. He went up to every human that walked in the gate and got himself some love. Im sure they thought he was a poor little neglected boy. Little do they know that he gets more love (especially now) than most children by their parents.

So, I mentioned that I baked this weekend. one of the kinds I made weren't that great. The second set were pretty good. They were like a double Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Craisens in them. I am not one to put anything other than candies in my cookies, but I thought these might be a good Thanksgiving cookie. I got the recipe from the Cookie Bible.

Double Chocolate Cranberry Chunkies
1 3/4 cups flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chip chunks

3/4 dried cranberries (I just used craisens)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in small bowl; set aside. Beat butter and sugars in a large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until well blended. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until blended. Stir in chocolate chunks and cranberries.

Drop dough on cookie sheets. Sprinkle some extra sugar on top of the dough. Bake 11 to 12 min or until cookies are set.

These are really good, and seem to be keeping really moist. So, happy baking!