Monday, July 25, 2011

Oh Cape May, I love you.

This weekend was another lovely time in Cape May.  Dave's parents spoil us with rides everywhere and delicious meals.  The weather was ridiculous, the sand was so hot you had to sprint from your chair to the water!  It was worth it though, it always is.

It ended up thunderstorming on us on Sunday, cutting our beach day short (much to our dismay), but I think we had a pretty great weekend regardless.

Puddin' loves the beach because she gets spoiled too.  Michelle came down for the weekend so the pup had an extra cuddle buddy.

We went out Saturday night.  Our first stop was the Ugly Mug, where they have an annual contest of who can blow the most foam out of their mug of beer.  To be in the contest you have to be in the Ugly Mug Club.  I'm not sure how you get in, but it sure sounds like fun.  And who wouldn't want the title of the United States National Froth Blowing Champion?!

Our next stop was a kitchy little bar where we were obviously the youngest people in the entire place.  We were also partaking in some obnoxious young people shaninigans...

Our last stop was a more bumpin' bar with a dance floor.  We were pretty excited when we found out there wasn't a cover charge, and then we got super pumped when we realized the band was one of our favorite local cover bands from home, Dead Poets.  Since we're friends with the lead singer he kept coming out to the crowd and letting us sing in the mic.  We had a blast!

And now the weekend is over.  I worked on my resume all day today, it was not enjoyable.  See you next month Cape May.

How did you beat the heat this weekend?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mission Decorate!

Since I suddenly have all this free time on my hands, I decided it would be a great time to finally decorate my bedroom.  Michelle (my sister) and I switched rooms a few weeks ago (well more than a few).  We switched since I had the bigger room but I'm only home two or three times a week, most of the time I'm at Dave's.  I had absolutely no desire to spend time decorating this room.  But it's been a while now, I have the time, and my wall decorations were hanging out on the floor waiting to get stepped on and ruined.  Please forgive the mess I call my bedroom.

Checking out what I have and trying to organize.

Before - those things were just stuck on random hooks still on the wall.


One of my faves.

From Arts Fest at Penn State last year (wahhh to not going this year).


After - left of the window.



The room looks so much better and actually feels like MY room now.  I still have a bit of organizing left to do (and I really should've painted), but the decorations have really made me like the room so much more.  Yay.

I made another green monster smoothie, this one way more green than the other two.  I put a lot more spinach in but it still tasted delicious!  I used a frozen banana, a peach (with the skin), some strawberries, a splash of coconut milk, some Stevia in the Raw, and some ice (no yogurt in this one).  If you haven't tried one of these yet, get on it!  They are fabulous.

Tomorrow we are leaving for another Cape May weekend.  The beach = love.  And the temperatures are supposed to be cooler down the shore then they are here.  Thank goodness.  Hope you have a great weekend.

Has decorating a space ever completely changed your feelings towards it?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Summer Summertime...

...time to sit back and unwind.  Yes, I'm totally quoting Will Smith's summer anthem hehe.

This weekend was packed full of friends and fun.  The weekend kicked off with an amazing Friday night.  I took Dave ziplining at Spring Mount.  It was the final event of his two week birthday celebration (we better celebrate my birthday for that long at the end of August!) and it was awesome.

The course included eight ziplines, a bunch of challenging rope bridges, and a race up a cargo net (I beat Dave hehe).  The longest zipline was 340 feet and I did it upside down!  It was such a great experience, very exhilarating.  Afterwards we hung out at the Tiki Bar there with a huge group of friends who came to surprise Dave.  One of the really cool things about the Tiki Bar is that you can grill your own kabobs. We had some shrimp, bacon wrapped scallops, and even tried some gator!  It was very tasty.

The rest of the weekend was filled up with hanging pool side, a housewarming gathering, a Chipotle date, and an afternoon of golf with my sister, Dave, and my dad.  I've been golfing since the summer of 2008, and this was by far the best I've ever golfed.  My grandparents would be so proud :)

Now for a week of fixing up my resume, starting the job hunt, and looking forward to the beach this weekend!

What's your favorite summertime activity?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Womp womp!

Well, I got laid off on Monday, womp womp.  It was definitely unexpected, but at the same time it makes sense.  I had been extremely low on work for the past week or so.  The unexpected part comes from the fact that they were talking about restoring some of our salary that had been cut a few months ago.  Who knows.  Twelve people got cut and five principals are voluntarily leaving.  It was pretty devastating but my mom keeps reminding me everytime this happened to my dad, it always ended up as a positive thing with him liking his new job better or getting a better salary.  My boss told me that it wasn't performance based, that I was such a nice girl, and he'd gladly give me a recommendation.  One door closes, another door opens, right?  At least it's summer...

Puddin' loves adventurin' and stomping around in creeks.

So now that my schedule is wide open I've been hitting the gym every day.  Running really makes me feel better.  Not waking up to an alarm is also a beautiful thing.  And so is having enough time to make my first green monster smoothie.  And yes, they look gross, but they are oh so tasty.

My creation contained a mango Chobani, a handful of strawberries, a banana, spinach, some milk, and ice.  Again, I don't really measure things, I don't think exact measurements are really that important in this recipe anyway.

It was a little less sweet than I cared for so I added a few Stevia in the Raw packets to up the dessert for breakfast factor.  Yum yum yum!  I definitely recommend making this.  You don't taste the spinach and it's such a good way to start the day.

I made a second one with a raspberry Chobani, strawberries, blueberries, spinach, coconut milk, ice, and some more Stevia in the Raw.  It was equally as delicious and equally as gross looking.  Maybe more actually.

I'm sorry for the hiatus I've taken from the blog, really I've been avoiding all computers.  An epic fail on a new recipe didn't help.  I will do better.

Have you ever had something bad turn out to be for the best?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Local Groceries & Homemade Sauce

In our quest for fresh and local eats, the boyfriend and I went to check out Kimberton Whole Foods on Thursday.  This was not one of the huge chain Whole Foods stores, it was a tiny grocery store where the cashier said "yeah, I didn't recognize you guys" when we told her it was our first trip.  The store had a variety of local produce, bulk grain and granola bins, various organic foods, a beauty and health section, and a little cafe.  We spent a good bit of time wandering around the store checking out all it had to offer.

We left with avocados, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, peaches, a giant bag of spinach, a package of chicken, pasta, some Chobani, granola bars, and some french vanilla granola from a bulk bin.  It felt good to support a small local business and the local farmers.

Later that night we put on some tunes and Dave cleaned the house while I whipped up my first homemade tomato sauce.  It was a total "you know I how know we're old" kinda night!  I was planning to make some chicken parm for our Friday night dinner guests, Sarah and Chris, and I decided that some jar of store bought sauce just wasn't going to cut it.  I asked my mom for her recipe and I now know where I get my lack of recipe details from.

I put in about 1/3 of an onion.  And I may or may not have forgot my 3rd can of tomato paste when I went grocery shopping.  To adjust for my absent mindedness, I only put in 2 cans of water and only used half of the third can of crushed tomatoes.  I used the spices in the recipe and also added some additional spices that I found in the counter like Italian Seasoning, a Garden Blend Mix, and Onion Powder.  I have no idea how much of each spice I put in because I kept adding a little at at time, tasting it, making Dave taste it, and then adding a swirl of something else.  You can always put more in, but you can't take it out!

The sauce came out great!  And I made a lot of it, I had plenty for our dinner, some for the freezer, and some to use this week.  I will definitely be making this again!

Have you ever made homemade sauce?  What's your fave pasta sauce?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Homemade Chipotle Bowls!

You may remember last week when I made homemade Chipotle bowls for Dave's birthday.  I love eating at Chipotle, but I really love when I can control and customize everything that goes into my bowl.  Here are a few of my "recipes" (aka I tend not to measure things, obviously something to improve for future recipe posts).  Also, I don't make everything from scratch, I'm just not that awesome but that's something I would like to work towards in the future too.  Enjoy!

1.  Create some cilantro lime rice.

Cilantro Lime Rice
(Adapted from this recipe)
  • 1 hunk of butter (Recipe = 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • Rice (Recipe = 2/3 cups, I've used both white and brown rice)
  • Lime juice to taste (juice of 1 lime? I am too lazy so I use the bottled stuff)
  • Salt to taste
1.  Cook rice as directed.
2.  Stir in butter, cilantro, lime juice, and salt.

2.  Heat up some black beans in a pot with a little water, oregano, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.

3.  Cook some steak on the grill.  We've been trying out various store bought marinades since I had an epic fail trying to create my own rub/marinade the first time.  Obviously you can use whatever meat you want or just go meatless!

4.  Cook some sliced peppers and onions in a pan on medium heat with some butter.  I like them cooked but still a bit crunchy.

Please excuse my amature photography and the boil in a bag rice.

 5.  Whip up some guacamole.

Semi-Homemade Guacamole
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
  • Squirt of lime juice to taste
  • Salt to taste (a good couple of shakes out of my salt shaker)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh salsa (purchased in the produce section of the grocery store, or you could be more awesome and make your own)
1.  Mash avocados
2.  Combine all ingredients and continue to mash and stir until desired consistency.  It's up to you how chunky you want your avocados.

6.  Layer your rice, beans, fajita veggies, and steak in a big bowl then top with lots of fresh salsa, sour cream, cheese, and don't forget the guacamole!


Yum yum yum!  I have a serious obsession with Chipotle!  And if you want to get really fancy, you could create multiple layers of each ingredient, I want to do this next time!  I always make enough to have some leftovers, but the second time I ate the bowl I realized I had a lot of rice left (and not as much of the good stuff on top) so I want to try and hide some of the good stuff at the bottom next time.  Also, don't forget since the guac will turn brown when it's exposed to air over time, cover it up with other things in the bowl before you store your leftovers.


Sorry Puddin', none for you.

Do you like to recreate your restaurant favorites at home?  Which ones?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy (Belated) 4th of July!

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” – Thoreau

The US may not be perfect, but I will never take my freedom for granted.  America, f*ck yeah!  Haha, I couldn't resist!

Anyway, this weekend was another wonderful beach weekend.  We have been so blessed with weather down the shore this year (and now that I've said that, I'm sure it will storm the entire time we're there next)!  Our weekend consisted of some quality time with Dave's parents, too much delicious food, more tropical cocktails (I love pina coladas!), and lots of sun.

$10 Walmart Phillies hat, for the win!

And Kimber and Pete came to visit us :)

I was kind of bummed though, because last year we got to enjoy fireworks from the beach Sunday night but this year they had them Monday.  I love fireworks, but not enough to drive home at 10 pm the night before heading back to work after a long weekend, yuck!  So we left after dinner.  But once it got dark, fireworks were popping up everywhere!  We were almost home when we came across fireworks directly next to the highway.  It was awesome!  We couldn't believe how many people were pulling over on the side of the road to watch them.  I like fireworks, but not enough to almost get in an accident swerving my car into the shoulder.  Oh how I love the ridiculous people on the road.  I wish I had snapped some pics but I was driving and didn't think to put my passenger to work.  Enjoy the sunset that I forced asked him to capture earlier in the drive.

Overall we had a great time (aside from almost killing myself on a bicycle with a wobbly front wheel in traffic).  But it's always so difficult getting back into the swing of things after lounging and relaxing all weekend.  Tonight I plan on pressing the reset button by hitting the gym and trying to plan some healthy eats for the week.

Oooh I almost forgot.  We were in the Acme in Cape May about to check out, and I spot this guy that I really feel like I recognize.  I'm looking at him racking my brain - how do I know him???  Well then I spot who he's with and it all comes together - it was Ashley and Stephen from (never home)maker!  What a small world!  I wish we would have arranged some kind of meet up, but I didn't even think about it since it was my first blog to real world meeting and I already felt a little bit like a creeper.  Maybe next time!

Well hope you all had a great holiday weekend!

What did you do to celebrate?
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