The Dealio

Sometimes I don't blog because there is literally nothing exciting going on in my life.
That is not the case right now, trust me!
There is a heck of a lot going on... but I'm going to hold off on that and talk about random things I've been doing instead.
Good things come to those who wait. How annoying am I?

1. Selling all of our possessions on eBay, Amazon & Craigslist.
Well not all of them, but that's what it seems like when I'm at the post office every single day shipping something out. I went through all of my books and decided to sell/donate at least half of them. I'm hanging onto the classics like Sylvia Plath's poems and anything by Jane Austen and Homer. Whatever doesn't sell before we move is going straight to the used book store down the street.


2. Watching Dancing with the Stars.
Well, I'm watching it, and Tim is usually sleeping on the couch. Every night, my darling husband asks for a head rub and then passes out instantly. It's pretty darn cute! Except when the snoring begins...

3. Collecting Boxes.
For the move. Not because we like boxes. They are actually pretty annoying space-hoggers. Thank goodness our 2nd bedroom doesn't actually serve a purpose.

[Boxing movies > Boxes]
4. Trying a New Shampoo.
Bye bye, Head & Shoulders. Hello, J/A/S/O/N.
(It's really Tim's but I used it this morning & now Jason and I are in LOOOVE!)

5. Being all-around awesome.
It's not always easy, but we manage.


Where for art thou, Spring?

[Budding tree in our backyard]
We're Spring cleaning, I bought some pieces for my Spring wardrobe, I already officiated a girls' lacrosse game... outside and I switched over to my Spring purse.

You'd think it was Spring right?
March 20th is a sham.

It's still freezing cold and we were graced with snow last week.
Granted, it melted hours later, but still, the sight of it when I woke up made me ill.
I thought my husband was pullin' my leg when he looked out the window and said in a horrified voice,
"Oh my God, it's snowing."

In order to have something to look forward to, we booked our Spring camping trip to Rickett's Glen.
Weekend of June 3rd, holla!
We'll be seeing a whole lotta these bad boys.
(And hopefully no bears.)


Backyard Garden, Numero Dos

When we move during the last weekend in April (next month, ahh!), unpacking might take a backseat to starting our garden. It will be prime planting season and we are itching for fresh veggies and herbs. There's something so satisfying about eating something that you grew yourself. And the taste... holy moly... is so much better than anything you can get at the grocery store. This is especially true with herbs, which start to lose their flavor within an hour of picking them.
Okay, that's not a fact, just what I've found.

We're still deciding if we want to do a raised bed or start it right in the ground.
The backyard is on a slight slope which makes for perfect drainage, and it gets plenty of sun which will make the tomatoes very happy.
We may have to pot most of our herbs, as well as the lettuce, and place them in a shady area. Wussy plants. Learned that the hard way last year.
Still a lot of planning to do - my specialty! 
Not to mention that we want to do an irrigation system on a timer & make a rain barrel.
Hey, go big or go home.

Our first garden was definitely an experiment, but overall, it turned out well.
The plants I started from seed did terrible. Not enough light, too much watering, maybe I planted them in the wrong kind of soil, etc. And like a true amateur, I didn't label them. DUH.

The only thing that lasted outside when we transplated was the zucchini (below), parsley & basil, which EXPLODED by mid-summer. Like seriously, out of hand.
We didn't know what to do with it all.

I ended up getting tomato & pepper seedlings from our Amish "neighbors" and they did fabulous. I'll be leaving the hard part up to them from now on and buying their seedlings for all of the plants that I want. They are ridiculously cheap, too. I'm talking $2.50 for a tomato plant that ended up giving us about 40 tomatoes.

Basil & Flat Leaf Parsley
And let's not forget all the beautiful perennials my mom dug up from her garden & gave to me. They're baaaaaaaack! Fool-proof garden staples. You cannot kill them.

Yes, I'll be digging some up & taking them with us again :-)
I like having a part of my Mom's garden in mine.
It's like bringing a little bit of your history everywhere you go.


Camping is In Tents

In an effort to enjoy the beautiful weather we experienced here in SEPA (southeastern PA) over the weekend, Tim and I practiced setting up our new tent!
Can I just say that registering at REI for our wedding was the greatest idea ever?
We are totally tricked out with the best camping gear and are already planning a trip for this Spring.

The only decision we need to make is whether we're going to a local campground which is 30 min. away... or if we're making the trek to a campground 2 1/2 hours away that has the most gorgeous natural waterfalls we've ever seen.
Convenient or Scenic!

Ricketts Glen, 2008

Colonel Denning State Park, 2007

French Creek, 2009

After dealing with torrential downpours and bear encounters, we're kinda professional campers now. So what do professional campers do? Practice, practice, practice!

Barely fits in our backyard? Check.

Large enough to fit our queen-sized air mattress? Check.
Yeah, we don't exactly "rough it."

Tall enough to stretch out in? Check.

Quality? Check.

Husband-approved? Check.


Go Back to Your Home on Whore Island (a recipe...)

My husband and I fell in love with this pasta on our honeymoon in Miami.
Cafe Ragazzi made it MUCH better than I did, but hey, they are professionals, I'm not gonna try to compete!

Pasta Puttanesca

(Adapted from The Food You Crave by Ellie Kriger)

Fun Fact: Puttanesca was given the nickname "whore's-style spaghetti" back in Italy. Legend has it that all the "ladies of the night" would make this pasta to lure in the men! Let me tell you, it worked with Tim.
But I ain't no hoe ;-)

16 oz. of thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup pitted Greek olives, drained & chopped
1/3 cup capers, drained
2 tsp. anchovy paste*
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
Two 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes**
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh arugula
Parmesan cheese

*Don't fear anchovy paste. It doesn't even smell or taste like fish, it just adds an awesome salty flavor.
**Get no-salt-added diced tomatoes. This recipe is SO flavorful, you don't need any added salt.

 I left out the fresh parsley, and it still turned out fine.
And I added a chopped red onion. I do what I want!

- Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
- While pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat
- Add garlic (and onions) and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute
- Add parsley, olives, capers, anchovy paste, oregano & red pepper and cook for another 2 minutes
- Add tomatoes and simmer for about 5 minutes
- Stir in arugula until slightly wilted, about 1 minute
- Toss cooked pasta with sauce to combine
- Serve up & top with parmesan cheese

The best part about this meal?
372 calories & 8 grams of fat in 1 serving (2 cups)!

If Whore Island exists & serves really good puttanesca, I might need to take a trip there.

Dream Weaver

I have been having really crazy dreams lately. Not bad, just odd. I hadn't had ANY dreams for a long time, and they just started up again a few weeks ago.

My dream last night went like this:

My parents friends (a nice couple who I've known all my life) were dressing up like clowns for a festival, and they needed me to drive them there since they couldn't drive in their clown attire. I was supposed to pick them up at a certain time, but was a half an hour late. They ended up finding another ride and were really mad at me.

What the heck does this mean?!

I was so weirded out by this one that I decided to consult a dream dictionary.
Looking at key words/themes in my dream, this is what I found.

To dream that you are at festival, symbolizes happiness, celebration and joviality. You are in a good place in your life right now. Alternatively, it suggests that you are trying to escape and blend in with the rest of the crowd.
To see a clown in your dream symbolizes absurdity, light-heartedness and a childish side to your own character. The countenance of the clown is a reflection of your own feelings and emotions. The actions of the clown signifies your uninhibited nature. Alternatively, a clown is an indication of your thoughtless or insincere actions.
Being Late
To dream that you are late, signifies your fear of change and your ambivalence about seizing an opportunity. You may feel unready, unworthy, or unsupported in your current circumstances. Additionally, you may be overwhelmed or conflicted with decisions about your future. Time is running out and you no longer have time to accomplish all the things you want.
To dream that you are driving a vehicle, signifies your life's journey and your path in life. The dream is telling of how you are moving and navigating through life. Similarly, to dream that you are driving at night, suggests that you are unsure of where you are headed in life. You are experiencing obstacles toward your goals. Perhaps you do not want to see what is ahead for you or you are afraid to confront certain issues. You may be feeling apprehensive about the future.
So, in conclusion, I'm at a good place in my life, I'm uninhibited and/or insincere, I fear change and am overwhelmed, and I'm struggling to navigate my way through life.
Oh, well that totally clears things up.
If anyone else would like to take a stab an interpreting my creepy clown dream, feel free to comment below!


Everybody Look at Me 'Cause I'm Sailing on a Boat

DSW is my homie!

I found the cutest boat shoes online.
I wanted them. But I waited.
A whole 24 hours later, a $10 rewards certificate magically appeared in the mail.
And bam, I went to the store after work and picked up these puppies for $20.

How can you do better than that?
You can't.
I don't actually have a boat, but at least I can strut around this Spring like I do.
(Shh, don't tell anyone.)

Oh, and duh, I can't do a post with the word "boat" in it without giving you this delightful video.


Weekend in Review

Spring is officially here. Our yard is sprouting.
Daylight savings time took a hike. Tim and I chatted about how daylight savings time is totally lame and should be banned. I mean, who does less daylight really benefit anyways?

We went grocery shopping, which turned into an extensive man-hunt for anchovy paste. After trying 2 grocery stores, we ended up finding it at Carlino's, an Italian specialty store in our 'hood. (I know, you're thinking "anchovy paste... vomit" but I'm re-creating a really awesome pasta dish we had in Miami and it's absolutely required to make it. Recipe to follow of course!)


And when I put it in a pony tail and wear a hood, I look like an emo chick.
Not a good look for me.

Mr. Annan and I hit the town for the official St. Patty's Day celebration that was going on a few days early. Naturally, we went to Kildare's, an Irish pub. It was packed with people in bright green t-shirts who'd been bar-crawling since 3pm. Yyyyikes. Clearly we were a little bit behind the crowd as far as drunkenness goes. But we got caught up quickly and even saw cops arresting people. We were those people standing around outside the bar staring. Yep.

And finally, I baked some scrumdiddlyumpcious muffins.
If you want the recipe, stay tuned until Wednesday...
[Apple Cream Cheese Muffins]
 Hope you guys had a great weekend!
Now it's off to finish up the laundry and catch the 5 o'clock church service...