Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween countdown

Last minute Halloween checklist before the spooky little candy gypsies start showing up:

Candy. Check.

Spooky, yet tasteful, decorations to lure the little children in. Check.

Papa Murphy's jack-o-lantern pizza. Checkity check check.

Okay, I think we're ready - bring 'em on!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Northern wanderings

So, unless my last few random photos weren't enough evidence, we went to the 'rents last weekend for a dual birthday/anniversary extravaganza. This is my favorite time of the year to travel up north since all the trees are changing color. For my birthday I got a beautiful beaded tank top from Mum along with some fall themed cupcake kits, a foodie book, gluten-free pancake mix, and boiled cider from KAF. I'll be using the halloween cupcake kit for my weekend baking.

To celebrate the 'rents anniversary they took us with them to the Eagle's Lodge for some dancing with a live band. The best part about the Eagle's Lodge? They make REALLY strong drinks. Bless you Eagles, bless you. This was the first time that we've actually seen the 'rents dance. We've seen photos, but if you believe everything you see in a photo you'd assume that Chris and I were also pirates in our free time. So all dance rumors were confirmed and it turns out the 'rents know a thing or two about cutting a rug.
Towards the end of the evening the rents' dance friends, Buck and Patty, showed up and jazzed up the joint with their cute little matching jitterbug shoes.
Turns out Buck makes mead (fermented honey) which the Canadian has made of few of. So after everyone was done dancing we followed Buck and Patty back to their house, right up the street from the 'rents, and did a little mead sampling. Some black cherry, pomegranate, and I think a sparkling mead....if I recall. All wonderful. We've got a date again at Christmas during which we'll bring some of ours to try too.

The Canadian's 37th birthday was Wednesday night for which I gifted him with a righteous bearded beanie.
Every Canadian needs to stay warm while working in the garage and taking chilly evening walks, right? He obviously comes from a hearty stock of lumberjacks. I'm thinking this would make a perfect DMV or passport photo.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Spooky fingers

Kari made severed finger cookies for bible study dessert. Deliciously spooky!

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

For adults only

Covering his eyes from the rents' seductive dancing!

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Cover your eyes!

The Canadian twisting with his mum against all sober advice!

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Hot night at the Eagle's lodge

Watching the rents cut a rug at the Eagle's with one of the strongest Malibu and Orange juices money can buy!

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Out of control!

Uh oh, they let mum and I go shopping unattended...

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Did you know?

Apparently hash browns don't have to come frozen as evidenced by mum's freshly shredded potatoes for breakfast. Who knew?

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Friday, October 14, 2011


The neighbors are getting into full Halloween spirit, much to the dismay of the Canadian who hates all things gaudy.
Dear neighbors, you are my heroes.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Birthday bash

Though not as cool as 10-10-10 like last year, it was still a good birthday for me. When I got in to work this morning some of the ladies had decorated up my desk with streamers, flowers and balloons.
However, upon closer inspection I noticed that all my balloons said "baby shower"!
The ladies just laughed and said that's all they had. So all day I had to ward off evil rumors of my pregnancy! For my special day I also had some homemade, lowfat lemon cupcakes.
The secret frosting ingredient was Grand Marnier. Special indeed. After work the Canadian took me to Crush for dinner. It's downtown, upstairs from Burgers & Brews in the old BofA building. We practically had the place to ourselves on a rainy Monday night. We got the perfect table in front of a sliding glass door looking out onto the downtown.
We got an appetizer of garlic cheese bread and shared a Caesar salad while waiting for our entrees.
For our dinners, the boy chose a pork chop while I got the chicken parmigiana.
It was absolutely delicious, but by the time dinner arrived I was pretty full so the boy will be enjoying my leftovers for lunch tomorrow. It was a fabulous ending to a pretty fabulous day!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Lions, tigers, and bears - seriously!

For our nephew Connor's 4th birthday today, the family had his party at a wildlife refuge down by Butte College. At the mere mention of animals, the Canadian was all ready to go. We got there right when the shindig was supposed to start which of course meant we were first ones there by a long shot, but that just allowed us to wander around a little on our own before all the little ones showed up. All I can say is that we must have showed up right at their nap time, because everyone was laying down snoozing. Except for the Liger (lion/tiger mix) who was ramming against her cage trying to get some teenage girls. But besides that, they were all conked out.
One of the birds said "hello" to Chris when he walked up, but then wouldn't say it again. Performance anxiety, I suppose. The bears were my favorite. There were two brown bear cubs that were wrestling around with each other and chasing each other around their enclosure. And then there was Winston, the "special needs" bear, who suffered head trauma as a baby. When he wasn't busy falling off of the logs in his cage he was sticking he front feet in his water bucket. Bless his little, mentally challenged heart. Here's one of the bear cubs cleaning his foot like nobody's business.

As part of Connor's birthday package staff did a special reptile show for us that involved snakes and lizards.
After the reptile show Connor starting breaking into his presents.
What?! A Cars 2 snuggie from Aunt Susan and Uncle Chris? Yeah, we're that cool. Except for the part where Connor noticed that the little boy on the box was playing a Nintendo DS and starting telling his mom that there was a DS in the box too. So we had to crush his dreams and let him down easy that it was just a snuggie, no DS. After fueling up on some halloween sugar cookies we bid the birthday boy a fond farewell and skedaddled.

And what was awaiting me when we got home? A box full of gluten-free treats from my sister, Jessica, for my birthday.
Within a minute I had the box open and half a snickerdoodle shoved in my face. Soooo good! I've already got plans for the flatbread to use as pizza crust tomorrow for lunch and to make french toast out of the bread. Then the rest will go in the freezer so that I can continue to enjoy it for weeks to come!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Good eats

The Canadian and I tried some new recipes this week with great success. First we started with some homemade turkey meatloaf from a Weight Watchers recipe. I've actually made this before and liked it so much I kept the recipe stuck to the fridge for the last 8 months.
For my work treats I made mini zucchini muffins. They were less than fabulous though so they never made it to work.
They weren't sweet enough and had whole wheat flour in the batter which is never my favorite. I should have known better. The boy liked them though, so it wasn't a total loss. With the dipping temperatures we even dug out the crockpot for some spicy chicken and rice.
The recipe was out of my Healthy Cooking magazine and, as suggested, we ate the chicken and rice in tortillas sprinkled with cheese. Good right out of the crockpot, but even better after a day or two in the fridge. Tonight we had a delicious tuna and artichoke pasta.
Corn pasta (I only eat corn and rice pastas now), canned tuna in olive oil, cherry tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, black olives, and pine nuts mixed with a sauce of the artichoke marinade heated with garlic, basil and oregano. It called for a splash of balsamic, which I added, but I wish I hadn't because it made it too sweet, but I still loved it and would make it again in a heartbeat. We've got some more new stuff scheduled to try this weekend and I hope our good luck continues.

Early gifts

Red Swarovski crystal earrings from a co-worker for my birthday. Let the gift giving begin!

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What the hail?

Dear weatherman, what happened to "clearing up this evening and sunny tomorrow"? By "clearing up" did you mean super hailstorm and crazy rain? I was up in p-town after work for bible study tonight watching quite the lightening storm out the window. Driving home down the Skyway, I drove right into a white-out at the bottom of the hill - only tire tracks visible in the hail. Guess what, cars don't like driving on hail. They insist on sliding all over the place. Then, once I made it off the freeway, all the intersections between 99 and home were completely flooded. It looked like the parting of the red sea with all the water flying away from the sides of the car. Somehow, driving ridiculously slow, I made it home in one piece. And funny enough, once I got to the last stop sign before our house, all the hail disappeared off the street. Just like that. And all I had was a little reminder in the front yard that there was any bad weather in the neighborhood at all.
Nasty stuff I tell ya, nasty stuff.