Archive | August, 2011

AWOL

30 Aug

I’ve been MIA for a little while. But I have a good excuse. Really. I  swear!

I’ve been busy.

Ok, so that’s a pretty lame excuse. But it’s true!

I had my first job interview (yay) and a follow up (yay). The husband is VERY excited about this.

We sold our condo in Charlotte (almost)(Yay!).

We bought a house (YAY!). I am VERY excited about this. I love our house. Love love love!!! Love!

But this has kept me pretty busy. Besides all the stuff we had to do to leave our apartment and all the closing shenanigans, there’s a lot to do when you move into a house.

We closed last Wednesday and the movers came Thursday morning. Which, being in the house with movers….awkward. Although less so when they’re delivering your stuff. At least I could unpack instead of just sit there and watch.

I spent the next three days unpacking boxes. Lots of boxes. I was dreaming of cardboard and packing tape. But now I’m done. And the floors of two rooms are covered with STUFF. I unpacked…I did not put away.

In between all the unpacking I’ve met with a gazillion people. Ok, maybe like three. But it seemed like more. I’ve met with the cable guy, the water guy, the alarm guy. Today I’m meeting the bug guy. Jacob said he’s going to get worried if I keep having guys over while he’s at work.

I’ve signed us up for membership at the Y. I’ve called the home warranty folks. I’ve called to schedule box pick up.

I have watched hurricane coverage obssessively. You may think this is because we just bought a house in Florida and I am concerned about hurricanes coming to visit. You would be wrong. I watch hurricane coverage obssessively every summer. I’m not sure why. (By the way, the eleventh named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season has formed over by Africa. Everyone say hello to Katia.)

So what has Jacob been doing while I’m working on settling into our house? Playing in his new garage. I fear I may never see him again.

 

 

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One month!

17 Aug

Well, we’ve officially been living in Florida for a month! (and married for 4!) It’s been a busy month but so far so good.

We’ve bought a house (almost…closing in 7 days!) and sold a house (almost….waiting on our closing date!) and Jacob has managed to find a way to play soccer 3 days a week.

And I have found the best cupcakes ever. Ever. Really. CamiCakes Cupcakes are oh so good. Big win. Luckily there is one near our new house. 

In other news, today I am going to check out gyms near our new house. Something tells me this is going to be a necessary evil.

Sweet

15 Aug

I have a sweet tooth. This is not news. When we go to dinner and the waiter comes at the end of the meal and asks if anyone wants dessert everyone turns to me. And the answer is always yes. I tried giving up sweets for Lent once….massive fail. Like cake, Krispy Creme and cupcakes all in one day kinda fail. (BTW…does anyone know what happens when you fail Lent? Is there some kind of divine punishment coming to me for my sugary sins?)

Breakfast is my favorite meal because it’s the one time it is absolutely ok to eat dessert for your meal. Giant cinnamon bun covered in icing? Don’t mind if I do. Pancakes covered in sugary sweet syrup? Yes, please.

Back in Charlotte my favorite breakfast came from the Bakery Shoppe across the street from my office. Once a week I stopped in on my way to work to pick up a chocolate croissant, a cinnamon bun or a giant muffin (I miss you, banana nut muffins!) The owner and I? We were tight.

So since we arrived in Jacksonville I’ve been on the lookout for something similar.  Fail. Where are the bakeries?

 I turned to Google, who never lets me down. Google does not want me to find a bakery. I appreciate Google’s concern for my waist line…but I want a bakery. I just need to know where to go to get my fix. (I get a little grumpy when I can’t get my sweets…unsurprisingly my husband has asked me to never give them up again.)

Google keeps giving me Publix, Panera or wedding cakes. Cake is good…but I don’t need three tiers and sugar roses. I just want a cheese danish! And yes you can get these at Panera and Publix,and they’ll do in a pinch, but they’re not the same. They’re just not on the same level of yumminess as something from a bakery where all they do is bake things.

My husband told me to try one of the “five thousand” bakeries we’ve seen. I gave him the “What have you been smoking?” look.

So until Google decides to give up the goods, looks like Panera and Publix will be feeding my addiction.

On the other hand…Jacksonville certainly has it’s fair share of cupcake bakeries. We’ve seen at least three or four (maybe these are the bakeries he’s talking about?), and wouldn’t you know, someone conveniently put one down the street from our apartment. (Which I just found today. And am planning to visit tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it goes.)

Food Porn

12 Aug

(Wait, don’t leave! I promise this won’t be as bad as it sounds.)

I am completely addicted to food porn. I can look at recipes and pictures of food for hours. Literally. Hours.

Cookbooks, magazines, websites, blogs. I love ’em all.

My mouth waters as I look through recipe after delicious sounding recipe. And pictures? Oh my, I’m done for.

Unfortunately, I never do anything about it. Look but no cook. My husband complains about the crazy number of cookbooks filling our pantry that never get pulled out for cooking…only for drooling over.

I know what you’re thinking, Dad. “But she doesn’t eat anything but macaroni and cheese and pizza!”  

That’s the sick part. I love looking at all recipes….even things I would never eat. I drool over seafood recipes (which, not only am I allergic to, but I don’t even like) and salivate of over veggie recipes (and vegetables? yuck!). Doesn’t matter what it is.

Part of the reason I never follow through with any of these recipes is time. I don’t have it. (Or at least I didn’t when I was working.) Of course this could have something to do with the fact that I refuse to cook on weekends. But when it’s 8:15p before I get started cooking dinner, I’m looking for something that takes no more than 30 minutes start to finish and is as simple as possible. I want to eat. Now, please.  And if I can get a shower in while it cooks, Glory Hallelujah!

However, now that I have a little more free time in my day (like hours and hours of free time) I’m looking forward to trying out some new dishes.

 (Thai coconut chicken and blueberry salsa, I’m looking at you. But not together. As individual dishes. In separate meals. Probably.)

I can’t wait to get started. As soon as we get in our new house. See, our furnished apartment is great but sadly lacking in culinary equipment. I have the basics…a frying pan, a mixing bowl, a glass baking dish…but that’s about it. I only have four plates…I use that many just prepping dinner sometimes! And I can’t wait to have my food processor back! And my big stabby-choppy knives! (Also good as weapons in case the Bad Guys break-in. Multi-purpose.)

For now, I’ll just keep fantasizing about what I’m going to cook in my super awesome new kicthen. Only two more weeks…

Below are links to a few of my favorite food blogs. Warning: these (at least for me) can be a huge time suck… 

www.howsweeteats.com

One of my favorites…I’m pretty sure Jessica from How Sweet and I were besties in another life. She hates veggies and thinks cupcakes should be a food group too! Love her!

www.eat8020.com

Lindsay is a  registered dietician who promotes eating 80% healthy and 20% fun. Love that she makes sure to tell you which category each recipe fits in. She also includes basic nutrition information. Oh….and is willing to “makeover” your favorite 20% recipes to get them closer to the good kind.

www.tastykitchen.com

Love love love. This website is my current obsession. It is constantly updated with new recipes and allows you to search in so many ways. It has a special section devoted to recipes for specific health concerns (ie…gluten free, low fat, vegan, etc) and most of the recipes have gorgeous pictures accompanying them.

Happy Dance!!!

11 Aug

Yay! We got an offer on the condo in Charlotte! Time for a Happy Dance! You can do the  Funky Chicken, the Macarena, the Moonwalk…

Me? I’ll be doing the Carlton. If you don’t know what this is you’re either of a different generation…or possibly my husband, who never watched anything but ESPN as a child. This link will demonstrate…

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrObV84tD8g 

Good, right?

As sad as we’ll be to officially no longer be North Carolina residents, it’s a huge relief to know we won’t be stuck with two mortgages.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to dancing!

Riverside Arts Market

9 Aug

In our attempts to get to know our new city we visited the Riverside Arts Market on Saturday morning. The market is located downtown by the river under the I-95 bridge. Yes, underneath the interstate. This is odd.

When I think of people hanging out under bridges I think of hobos (Homeless? Home challenged? Not sure of the PC term here)…or people hiding from tornadoes (but according to the Weather channel this is a bad place to hide.) On the upside, the temperature under the interstate was a cool 97 degrees compared to the 108 degrees in the sun. Unfortunately, humidity isn’t affected by shade.

We decided to overlook the odd location and go anyway and to be honest it’s pretty cool.

The market is some kind of weird mix of street fair and farmer’s market. There’s fresh produce, herbs, homemade jams, and sauces (farmer’s market). There’s also all kinds of art, street performers and music performances (street fair). And food booths. Lots of food booths….carribean food, kettle corn, pizza, funnel cakes…almost as good as the real fair but I didn’t see any fried oreos so maybe not.

Oh, and it doesn’t start until 10a which is way better than most farmer’s markets which are usually over by then.

There are tons of people and almost as many dogs. Our’s can’t go because he doesn’t play well with others. And he’d probably just park himself by the sausage guy and refuse to move. He’s not really in to art.

The Riverside Arts Market was a good way to spend an hour or two on a Saturday morning…we like hanging out under bridges. That’s a win, Jacksonville.

(Oh…I almost forgot….they have cupcakes….and cupcake SAMPLES. Big win.)

Embarassing moment of the week

8 Aug

Ok, this actually happened last week. Even I am not so good as to have managed to embarass myself in the first few hours of this week while sitting on my couch.

Our apartment is in a very nice complex. Nice gym, great common areas, beautiful pool. Last Thursday I decided, for the first time, to head out to the pool for a few hours in the afternoon. Laundry was done, dishes were clean and I had had my fill of window shopping for the week. And there were no good marathons on Bravo. (Real Housewives of New Jersey is this morning’s entertainment.)

So, I put on my bathing suit, packed my pool bag and spent 15 minutes twisting and turning in front of the mirror trying to put sunscreen on my own back. (We were out of the spray kind. And apparently I need to take up yoga.) I put the dog away and headed to the pool.

The pool, like most, is gated. Getting in seemed simple enough. There is a handle. Turn, push, enter.

Apparently not. How about I try that again. Turn, push, nothing.

Ok, I’m a smart girl. Maybe the handle should turn the other way? Nope. Well, there’s a lock on it. Let’s put the key in and turn. Hmm…nothing.

Am starting to feel kinda dumb. Ok really dumb. I have been messing with this gate for a good 2-3 mintues. I keep looking over my shoulder to see if anyone is watching. Fortunately all the windows have blinds on them but I’m convinced there is a whole crowd of people behind them laughing at the moron who can’t open a gate.

I have three years of private school and a college degree and I can’t open a gate? Sorry, Mom and Dad. Guess all that schooling was a waste. I give up in defeat and go back upstairs. That night I told Jacob about my massive fail…at which point he laughs hysterically.

The next morning while walking the dog I notice the maintenance folks going in and out of the pool area with apparently no trouble. So as I pretend to wait for Harley (who keeps looking at me like “I’m done now. We can go.”) and I keep an eye on the gate. Finally I realize why I couldn’t get the gate open.

This is a sneaky gate designed to make people look stupid.

The handle? Yeah, you turn it but you push the section of the fence NEXT to the handle. Stupid, tricky gate. If you turn a door handle you don’t then open the wall next to it.

That night, as we were walking in from dinner, Jacob said “Oh yeah, I figured out how to open the gate for you. You have to push the section of the gate next to the handle.”

Me: “I watched the maintenance guys do it this morning. Stupid gate.”

Him: “Don’t worry…I almost had trouble too.”

Me: “Really?”

Him: “Um…Sure.”

I suspect he only said this so I wouldn’t feel quite so dumb. Too late.