Back from Paradise

Paradise, of course, being Miami Beach. The old folks may have been wearing pants & sweaters but Tim and I were strutting our stuff on the beach! We didn't even worry about sunscreen. The sun scorched us, and we loved every minute of it.

The whole "everything's free" part rocked, too. Especially the Dom Perignon.
More on that later! Still have a lot of catching up to do at work.

In the meantime, imagine yourself here.
(Unless you are there. In which case, I hate you.)

[More pictures to come... sit tight.]


Snow Day Numero Dos

We had THUNDERSNOW last night.
That's when it's snowing, and there is thunder & lightening at the same time.
Mother Nature dumped about 10 more inches of snow on us.
She's being a real jerk lately.

My office is closed.
Tim could get a ride to work... but there are no cars to work on if he did go in.

The county courthouse is closed, therefore, the parking garage is free today.
Our cars have been there since Tuesday night.
We don't have to dig them out which is ah-mazing.

So what are we doing today?
A whole lotta nothing!

We went out for breakfast to our favorite place which is conveniently located two blocks away.

[1776... a good year for America.]
A bunch of crazies were out driving on the unplowed streets.
Mainly Jeeps & SUV's.
We stood & watched a sedan attempt to get out of it's parking spot.
(So helpful, we are.)
They were not successful.

So far, Southwest's website says our flight is ON TIME for tomorrow morning at 9am.
Let's hope it stays that way. 
We need to get the heck out of here!



I want to wash my hands, my face, my hair with snowwwww!

The meteorologists were wrong again.
We woke up to heavy snow, which has already dumped 5+ inches on us.
I called my boss and told her that commuting to work just wasn't in the cards for me today. My little Honda Civic wasn't having it. Tim didn't go to work either, so we're having ourselves a semi-lazy little snow day!

We shoveled our front sidewalk (and our neighbors, too, aren't we nice?) and then paid the parking meters for the rest of the day. Yep... the parking ticket jerks were out giving tickets in a snow storm. We went up to the 6th level of the parking garage for kicks 'cause that's where we got engaged during a snow storm back in December of '09. 

We even came back & had an old fashioned snow ball fight while shoveling the walkway behind our apartment building.
The Cheese Ball Award goes to Meg & Tim!
I got Tim in the man parts. 
And then I took a well-deserved snowball to the head.

The worst of the snow isn't starting until around 5pm. We might get up to a foot! 
(That's a lot for around these parts, we are snow wussies)

As long as the runways at the Philly airport are cleared by Friday morning, we're happy.
We are heading to Miami for the weekend. 
My skin needs some vitamin D real bad. It's fed up with this climate.


Go Go Gadget

I just did that thing where you say a word aloud over and over again until it sounds like a foreign language. Gadget. Gadget. GADget. GadGET. GAD-GET.

I hate most gadgets. Like anything in Sharper Image. Meh, not interested. I don't care about having the latest cell phone, laptop, GPS, etc. We have a GPS. It's called Mapquest & a printer. My iPhone (version 1) is slowy mcslowersons. Whatever.

However, one type of gadget owns my heart.


Heaven to me looks like the looooong kitchen gadget aisle in Target. With Tim standing at the end, holding a beautiful array of colorful spatulas. And Bob Marley playing steel drums. Ron Burgundy is also in there somewhere.

Anyways, I was so pumped when I got my mail yesterday and found a rewards card from Macy's worth roughly $100. Apparently back when we were registering for wedding gifts, I signed up for some program where you get a % in cash back as a reward when people buy certain things off of your registry. Totally forgot about it!
I immediately went bananas on Macy's.com.

These beauties will be arriving shortly:

(And I didn't even mean to buy all Martha Stewart brand products. It just worked out like that!
She is greatest, you really can't blame me.)

[Photo credits: Macys.com]

Most of them will replace cheap-o versions of a similar product I bought back in college at Dollar Tree. They'll be taking a trip to Goodwill or the dumpster!

I'll admit, some kitchen gadgets are just pointless.

I won't waste money on an avocado peeler. It's just as easy to use a knife & a spoon. I recently ditched my dish drainer, too. We have a dishwasher, and anything I wash by hand I just lay on a dish towel to dry (or dry by hand and put away immediately). No more unsightly rack gathering slime & taking up my valuable counter space! Strawberry stem remover, also dumb. I even saw a corn on the cob kernel scraper. Um, hi, it's called using a knife. We are even thinking about losing the tea kettle. Our new coffee maker has a hot water dispenser that is quite handy.

Wow, this post is making me want to re-evaluate my whole gadget drawer. It's jam packed and I'm thinking, do I really need 6 different wooden spoons? That is one area I struggle with keeping organized.

Instead of watching the State of the Union tonight (we already know, it's bad) I think I'll tackle that drawer!

Half Summer/Half Winter Outfit

Yes, the title is a reference to Kourtney & Kim Take New York which premiered Sunday night on E! Scott, Kourtney's boyfriend & baby daddy, always wears very fashion-forward ensembles, and the sisters told him his outfit was half-summer & half-winter.
(Not pictured below, but you get the idea.)

[Photo credit: Life & Style magazine]
It wasn't until I got fully dressed this morning that I realized my outfit was too!
Needless to say, I was quite pleased with myself.

[skirt: forever21/cardigan: old navy/tank: express/belt: old navy/tights: target/shoes: payless]

I'm having a love affair with my high-waisted skirt. You've probably noticed that I won't shut up about it. Apparently high-waisted jeans & shorts are making a comeback, too. This is AMAZING news for gals with rectangular bodies like myself. J. Crew has expensive versions , but I checked out my fav cheaper sources to see if they had anything similar.

And boyyyy do they!
All for around $20. Hot dang.

[Photo credits: Forever 21.com]

P.S. That "no white after Labor Day" rule is malarkey! I'm not following it anymore. 
Who's with me?


Did I do that?

My husband and I had a series of Steve Urkel moments over the weekend.
Again confirming my superstition that bad things happen in threes.

3 3 3

Well, only two things happened over the weekend. And I'm completely dreading the third disaster which is inevitable. Okay, maybe "disaster" is a little overdramatic.
I'm a Leo, I can't help it.

You know that Ikea bed we stole took off my parents hands? Well, we were just flopping down on it for an afternoon power nap on Saturday and apparently, the old bed just wasn't in the mood to be flopped on. Because the metal center beam completely broke in half! At first we cursed, then we laughed, then we cursed some more.

We were having our friends, Devon & Paul, over for dinner and had tons to do. I was in crazy entertaining mode & needed a quick break, but we had to stop everything and make an emergency trip to Ikea. Either that, or sleep on the futon that night. No thank you.

We bundled up, hopped in the car and made it there in 20 minutes flat. While following all posted speed limits and rules of the road, of course...

We found the replacement beam and were overjoyed that it only cost $10. Those Swedes, don't ya just love 'em? Then we looked at our watches (a/k/a cell phones) and realized it was only 3-something. We totally had time to look around. Instead of just sticking to our list, we also left with 2 new rugs and a magazine holder for the bathroom.
Tell me you don't get sucked into Ikea and I'll tell you you're a dirty liar.

We sped home, patched up the bed and I still had plenty of time to do some prep work in the kitchen. Dinner/wine/dessert/games with our friends was delightful.

After they left, we (let's just be honest, I) started cleaning up. The day before, we noticed that our dishwasher (circa 1970) had some water remaining in the bottom after the cycle was done. Didn't really think anything of it. Maybe something was clogged, it'll drain out.

Rookie, apartment-dweller mistake.

I filled that sucker up with dishes anyway and turned it on. I was at the sink washing pots & pans and all of a sudden my foot was wet. Our dishwasher decided to dump water out all over the floor. At 12:30 am. Lovely.

I turned it off & ran to grab our old bath towels to soak up the mess. My brother Eric recently advised us to save our old towels for situations when our future children barf all over the floor, etc. He is SO wise.

Yes, I did that.

Ugh, what's next?!
Please let it be a hangnail or something.


The Friday Five!

Notice how I made it sound super interesting by throwing in the exclamation point?
You fell for it, didn't you.
Well now I better make it interesting.

1. Bizarre Weather

About an hour ago it randomly started blizzard-ing. Crazy wind, cars were pulling over, it was creepy. And then 10 minutes later it was like nothing ever happened. I hate weather, mainly because I can't control it. And I'm a bit of a Type-A personality. If you haven't already figured that out.

2. Heathers 

Cult classic. Hilarious. Morbid. Brilliant. Watch it.
Then watch it again.

3. Homemade Laundry Detergent

I made it twice & loved it. Then I got lazy and bought a bottle of Seventh Generation that was like $11. I used it up in a month and won't ever buy it again. Total waste of money and I don't even think it worked any better. This is the recipe I used.
Have you ever made your own?

4. Naan Bread

My husband and I have been really into Indian food lately. Tip: if you want to try Indian food, do not go to a buffet. I've made that mistake. Everything looks terrible and you can't tell what is what. Go to a more upscale restaurant that gives descriptions of each menu item. This is how we found what we liked! Naan is a great appetizer and goes with any meal, Indian or not. And a healthier alternative to boring old buttered rolls.

5. Sewing
Oh yeah, remember when I used to do that? Well now that I think about it, I was actually pretty good and I should probably dust off my sewing machine and see if it still works! I'm going to pray for a huge blizzard on Tuesday so I can dig into my bin of scraps and craft something awesome.

Awkward & Awesome... Friday! (just go with it)

Mr. Hall: Cher Horowitz? Two tardies.

Cher: I object! Do you recall the dates of these alleged "tardies"?

[Said you gave him a toothache.]

Yes, yes, it's Friday. But I'm gonna do awkward & awesome's anyways.
Because I can.


- Starting off the day with a belt cinching my waist... then having to loosen said belt hours later after stuffing my face at the work luncheon.

- Opening my paycheck at my desk and having the CEO walk in as I'm looking at it. He clearly knows how much I'm making... but situations involving other people knowing your income just weird me out.

- Getting a thank you for a thank you. No, I'm thanking YOU. You don't have to thank ME for thanking YOU or we're gonna be here all day.

- Overhearing my boss say things like, "Oh, if that were the case, I'd have been all over it like stink on poop" and other ridiculous sayings of that nature.

- When I sneeze (for no particular reason) and someone near me says, "Stay away from me! I can't get sick!" Dude, not every sneeze is the indication of a communicable disease. Relax.

- A co-worker asking me if I know what a tickler is. Umm, thank goodness I played dumb & said no because she was clearly not talking about the same thing that I was thinking. Turns out she was referring to some old fashioned method of keeping track of upcoming events on your calendar. Now it's called Microsoft Outlook. Catch up. And never say tickler aloud ever again.

- People at the grocery store holding social hour instead of shopping. I don't care that your husband's mother is almost out of rehab for breaking her hip. You're blocking the cannellini beans.

- The word "hoarder."

- Making a simple, friendly comment to someone and having them turn it around into an awkward & depressing story about their life. Now I know that my co-worker wears sneakers in the winter because she had frostbite on her feet as a child. Not so she doesn't slip on ice in the parking lot. Got it.


- I made three new recipes this week. THREE.

- It's Girl Scout Cookie season. And my niece is selling them. My whole foods diet is gonna have to take a chill pill until we finish these boxes.

- The City of Philadelphia finally arrested this scumbag. And that is putting it nicely.
(Warning: don't read unless you want to be seriously disturbed)

- Opening my paycheck and having it be more than I expected. Happy Friday, indeed!

- My husband's way with children. He is so sweet with our nieces. Makes me want to have kids. Someday...

- Receiving a kind & delicious thank-you gift for a job well done. I will create binders of commercial agreements for you any day, sir!

- The fact that the sun decided to make an appearance for the past few days. I've missed you old buddy old pal.

- We'll be in MIAMI next Friday. For three glorious days of sunshine and temps in the mid to high 70's. I can't wait to wear my new Victoria's Secret resort duds! Pictures will be posted. Obviously.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!
And thank you for reading. You rock.



Play That Funky Music White Boy

I love coming home from work to this guy.

I'm so proud of my talented husband and I love his passion for music

And passion for dancing...

This is from the Carnival cruise we took two years ago. 
We need to take another one REAL soon!
I miss being in the middle of the ocean with absolutely no obligations except relaxation.
And maybe getting tan. I love me a good tan.


Recipe Wednesday BONUS! Greek Salad Dressing

 Greek Salad Dressing

I make this dressing all the time (and various versions of this dressing). 
It tastes just like what you'd get in a restaurant. I swear.

Get all retro and store it in a mason jar.
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil (a really good kind)
2/3 c. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dijon mustard*

Whisk together vinegar, spices & mustard. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while whisking vigorously. You can do this with a food processor, which I prefer, but maybe I'm just a little wuss b/c it makes my arm hurt after a while.
(Maybe? Let's face it. I am a wuss after admitting that.)

*Even if you don't like dijon mustard, you can't skip this when making dressing. 
It acts as an emulsifier to combine the vinegar & oil. 

I love it on a greek salad with cucumbers, tomatoes & feta cheese. You can also use it as a marinade for grilled veggies. Mmm... makes me miss summer real bad!

Recipe Wednesday: Chicken Fajita Salad

This is a quick meal that requires very little cooking ability. Measurements aren't really necessary for this one (except for the fajita seasoning) so you're gonna have to "eyeball it" as Rachael Ray would say. Like many of my favorite recipes, you can customize it to suit your tastes (and what you have on hand).

First, let out a quick Mexican celebratory yell - bry yi yi yi yi!

Okay, now that everyone knows what they're in store for, make the fajita seasoning.
I used this recipe mainly because it was the first thing that came up on Yahoo! search. I'm very particular. I didn't even have all the ingredients (like chicken bouillon) but it turned out great.  It's enough for a few meals, so mix it right in a small tupperwear container.

(besides those in the seasoning)

Chicken cutlets
Olive oil
Lettuce, or your favorite salad mix
Tomatoes, chopped
Onion, diced
Corn (fresh, frozen, or canned)
Black beans (drained & rinsed)
Sour cream
Mexican-style shredded cheese
Tortilla chips

(You can add avocado, too, that would be yum)

Heat oil over medium-high heat in your saute pan. Cube chicken (or cut into thin strips) and cook until golden. Whisk 2 tablespoons of seasoning (for a pound or so of meat) into 1/2 c. water and add to chicken. Simmer until sauce is thickened & then reduce heat to low.

While that's bubbling away, assemble your salads. Lettuce, tomatoes, onion, corn, beans... go loco! If you're serving to a group, put out all the toppings in separate bowls & let everyone build their own. Serve tortilla chips on the side.

If you're feeling sassy, squeeze a fresh lime over the salads.
[Extreme close-up!]

Dinner in Mexico

Well... not exactly. 
Our local Mexican restaurant, Mas, was the best we could do to pretend we didn't live in freezing cold Pennsylvania anymore. It did the trick for a few hours.

[Pants: old navy/Shirt: forever21/Vest: pac sun/Boots: dsw/Bag: forever21]

Two outfits in one day?! Crazyness.
I get so tired of work clothes and I wanted to wear my
new green skinny cargo pants.

[Margarita for me... and beer for my husband.]
[Our dinner dates, Dave & Rachael]
[Love him & that bushy beard.]