Sunday, December 21, 2008

Seen this month's Asian Restaurant News??

Yeah, I didn't think that you had...but here it is! Complete with my pictures on the cover and inside...

and the pictures I like from the inside (can you see John making pizza??)

The restaurant where John works was featured as a success story, and Jade asked me to take the pictures for it. Pretty exciting to see them in print.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Baked goods craziness

This is actually the first year I've made and decorated gingerbread and I LOVE it! My favorites were the "James Bond" gingerbread men (with the bow ties, pictured above) and also the ones I made with winter scarves. My favorite of John's was his smiling star from the Mario Brothers games (complete with the song and added dancing).

I think John is making the dough for our third batch of gingerbread cookies tonight, and this is after making fudge (chocolate and peanut butter), truffles, no-bakes, Stolen (German bread), peppermint bark and cranberry chip cookies over the weekend! The peppermint bark and cranberry cookies were all me, but the rest? All John. What can I say? He's a total baking rock star (and I am a total baking rock star groupie). He even came to my rescue last night when I got tired of decorating the cookies to take to my office party.

Thankfully, we've managed to give MOST of the baked goods away...but there's still enough here to keep munching and munching and munching. At this point, I am totally sick of gingerbread cookies...but that still leaves about 26 other sweets to get sick of ;)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Christmas Decorating!

Yesterday, we put up our Christmas lights and the Christmas tree. It was just a perfect day for it. It was snowing all day and totally Christmas-y. We put our LED lights on the outside of the house and then John put lights on the inside of our front windows. When we bought them last year, I wasn't sure about the LEDs, but now I love them. They are really bright and when you turn onto our street, there's our house all lit up (it helps make up for the fact that our house is the only one on our street with lights)

We put the tree up next...I'm waiting until tonight to get a picture (it looks prettier without all the light coming in the windows). John put on his ornaments and declared that they tree was now "sufficiently geeky"...I'm still loving his Darth Vader ornament that talks when you turn the tree on (Callie was very curious about it this morning)...and of course the blinking tree topper that John got from his parent's house and fixed last year with a new string of lights, a glue gun, and a lot of patience...

I'm so excited--it finally feels Christmas-y here! I'm ready to wrap presents and listen to Christmas music 24-7 and bake Christmas goodies! =)

I actually started off this morning making pumpkin chocolate chip muffins a recipe that I found on a blog I really enjoy, Get Rich Slowly. They were so good...and now I'm trying to decide whether we need to eat all twelve or whether we should share. ;)

John's really excited because we're going to see Quantum of Solace this afternoon. He's already been you-tube-ing the theme song, trailer, and general James Bond music (which has now evolved into Monty Python clips...).

That's about it here--will post more pictures of the decor later!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Getting back to normal...

but don't worry, there are still more wedding pictures coming (well, okay...maybe you weren't really worried about that, but I'm still in the stare-at-wedding-pictures-for-hours-on-end stage, so I figured I should make everyone else do the same ;) )

Things are good--I think we've almost got all of the wedding stuff put away, have found places for the gifts, and I am part-way done with name-change junk...did all the paperwork at work, and a new social security card is on its way. This weekend, I'll get the new driver's license (fingers crossed for a better picture this time) and then I'll start calling the bank/utilities/credit cards/etc. etc. (the stuff I've really been putting off)

It's started to get kind of cold here--teeny flurries yesterday and honest-to-goodness snow today (I was psyched--beats gloomy cold rain any day). It's got me humming Christmas carols and thinking about holiday baking--but honestly, I can't believe it's already almost Thanksgiving

that's about it for now...time for a book and some cuddling on the couch with Callie-dog

Monday, November 03, 2008

Pictures from my Dad!


More posting later...right now I'm dealing with (or really ignoring) all the decorations/presents/clothes/tablecloths/etc that are taking up half of the living room ;)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I know it's been forever since I posted...things are really busy around here. The wedding is on SATURDAY!! I can't believe it's so close!

They had a surprise bridal shower at work for me today--it was so fun! I got two pieces of stained glass art, a "slinky nightie" ;), a native american seed pot (pit fired by my coworker and everything), and a heart keychain (and cards, and cake, and punch) was really hard to get back to work after that, but I HAD to because today was my last day of work for a week.

Tomorrow is errands, errands, errands, knitting group at 5, and then my parents and Erin are going to get in around 8ish (yay!)

We still have a list of things to do--put together the reception playlist, get John's costume together, get cups, napkins, etc. etc. etc...


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

and today...

we went on a walk. Callie was all worn out from playing with Baxter last night, so she actually sat down and let me take (a few) pictures. I was planning a longer walk, but she started pulling so we cut it short and headed back home. Then it was pumpkin curry soup for dinner, and now I'm back to knitting on John's socks (as soon as I get this posted)

Monday, September 29, 2008


I came home and gave our stinky dog a bath...

(this is an after picture)

Friday, September 05, 2008

Birthday Pictures!

For my 28th birthday, John, Callie and I went to Stroud's Run (lake near here) to have a picnic in the afternoon and let Callie swim in the lake. John made chocolate angel food cake with chocolate buttercream frosting (he had enough batter for a normal size cake and then a little cake made in a mini loaf pan). So we had the mini-cake just him and me at the lake. Callie ran around like a crazy dog and swam and swam and swam.

Me and John (with the outhouse in the background...tried to crop that out ;) )

The wind made it hard for John to light the candles

Callie isn't quite understanding that she should bring her toy back to John after he throws it (and not just leave it floating there). She had so much fun but smelled REALLY bad after being in the lake (she got a bath as soon as we got home).

Then John had to go to work. It was sushi night at the restaurant, so at 6:30, I met some friends there for dinner...John wasn't busy so he got to come say hang out for a bit, and we had sushi and dinner, and then John brought out the cake with 28 candles all was so beautiful and the cake was amazing! (we had our mini-cake at the lake because if he had been busy, he wouldn't have been able to have cake with us).

My dinner (the owner of the restaurant carves carrots for your birthday - how cute is that?!?!)

Here is all of us with the cake (Sonja, Stephanie, Krista, Me, Yvonne, and Nancy)

And another group picture

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

With enough patience...

maybe all of my tomatoes will start to turn red!

Everything's still pretty green, except for this guy. I was beginning to think there was something wrong (and that I should start looking for recipes for fried green tomatoes) but then a few days ago, this one started looking slightly yellowish...and now I think it's definitely getting a red-ish tone ;)

We've already enjoyed a couple banana just by itself and another with pepperoni on a pizza (which I recommend). You can see them (and Callie) right here...

The strawberries have also come back and we've gotten a handful of them...definitely need more plants than just two in the future.

On a non-gardening note, wedding planning is going well...getting down to the last few things...

I've got an appointment with the seamstress tomorrow (fingers crossed that alterations cost less than I've budgeted--it'd be like finding free money). I know where we're getting the flowers, just need to finalize that. John's going to work out the menu with his boss, and I think me and the moms (mine and John's) are going shopping for their dresses next weekend (because my mom is coming to visit! YAY!)

Nothing new in knitting-land though...I've been making the same washcloth for about a month. Next are the socks I'm making John for his birthday, I was thinking about the "Manly Socks" in either Baby Ull or Trekking Tweed (probably Baby Ull...I've seen the Trekking Tweed I like, but have yet to find any for sale)

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Happy Birthday John!

For John's birthday, we went to Zoe for dinner with his parents and his brother, Jimmie. Zoe is an awesome restaurant that's located in an old company house in the Eclipse Mining Town (in The Plains, which is very close to Athens). It's actually right off of the bike path, but since we were dressing up, riding our bikes wasn't really an option (although I'd love to ride out there to awesome would that be?). The food was incredible and everyone had a great time.

Then we came back to the house, where we all played Wii, opened presents, and ate cake. In the picture above, you can see John sitting next to the cake, but what you can't see is that he's sitting in a rickety old chair that's mostly broken...a few moments after he blew out the candles, it broke for real and he landed on his butt on the ground. It was pretty funny (luckily he wasn't hurt).

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Loving this...

A Guy's Opinion: Planning a Wedding Is No Big Deal

It would be even funnier if I weren't prone to getting totally stressed out about wedding stuff...

From now on, I'll just pretend I'm totally chill about wedding planning and never get stressed out (and I'll just count on the fact that you won't talk to my mom, John, my sisters, John's mom, my dad, several of my friends, random people on the street...) ;)

But things are dress is here! and wonderful! and Brenna's boyfriend agreed to play guitar for pre-ceremony and aisle-walking I'm really excited about that, too!


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Too hot for wool (blend) socks

Just finished these this morning...had to turn on the air conditioning and eat a bowl of ice cream just to get the pictures taken ;)

Pattern--7 stitches per inch pattern from Getting Started Knitting Socks

Yarn: Lion Brand Magic Stripes (thanks to Nancy for letting me buy it off her ;))

Started on May 16th, finished July 26th

Best part: I finally learned a better way to pick up stitches...I held off looking into it for so long, decided on the second sock that I was going to see if I couldn't find a tutorial on the internet, found one--and learned the mystery of picking up stitches in about 30 makes sooo much more sense and looks better than what I've been doing for the past three years

Sunday, July 20, 2008

And the weekend zooms by...

(Me and Callie on the way to Nancy's for a cookout)

I'm at the end of a wonderful and busy weekend. First, John's best friend Peter came to enjoy Brew Week. We hung out on Friday evening and then they headed off to the bars and I headed to the couch to watch August Rush (so cute!) and knit.

Saturday, we watched that silly basketball movie with Will Ferrell--the name is totally escaping me right now--and went to Boogie on the Bricks uptown. There was music from the Royales, hay bales to sit on, and beer to drink (although I think they ran out of all the good microbrews at by 10:30 we weren't drinking anything awesome). It was a really fun time and great atmosphere...we ran into Stephanie and then headed to Tony's to enjoy the very last of Brew Week...stayed out way past my bedtime (which, at the latest should be midnight) but it was definitely worth it!

When it was all said and done, I tried 15 different microbrews--my favorites being White Weasel Wheat from the Weasel Boy Brewing Company, Scholz (??-I don't think that's the spelling but I'm really not going to look it up right now) from the Marietta Brewing Company, and the Raspberry Wheat from Jackie O's. John tried somewhere around 40 beers, with his favorites being Dark Apparition from Jackie O's, Dark Horse from Elevator (or was it Magic Hat?) and the beers from Barley's (but we knew that one already) and is planning to start sampling on Monday next year ;)

Sunday was for sleeping in (I wish someone would tell Callie though!) and then working on the wedding invitations...they're almost ready to be printed but I'm not fooling with them anymore tonight. Then we went out to Nancy and Brian's for a cookout...we had a great time and Callie wore herself out running around and playing with their dog Brady. Came home and did a few of the chores we've been ignoring. Now, Callie's asleep in the middle of the floor (and believe me, I'm not far off from it) and John went to see The Dark Knight with a friend from work...


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Baby tomatoes...

I also have one baby Roma tomato (something has eaten all the others) and tiny banana peppers. My squash plants are flowery but looking pretty pathetic...I'm thinking maybe I should've sprayed them for their mildew issue instead of just leaving it.

Other news...

My wedding dressed is being shipped to me right now! I can't wait to have it and see it!

It's Ohio Brew Week in Athens, so I've been having fun trying a few of the micro-brews that are in the local bars this week. John's been having significantly more fun than me (because he's decided that he needs to try them all ;) ).

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


We went to Lancaster for the 4th of July--got to hear the Marine Corps Band play and watch all the fireworks. I also decided to take my camera and my itty-bitty tripod to see what kind of pictures I could get.

Before we left I goolged "taking pictures of fireworks" (I don't know what I ever did without the internet!) and got all the tips I needed to try it out...including the idea that, since I didn't have a remote, I should use the self-timer function so that I wouldn't shake the camera pushing down the shutter button...

So here's how our firework watching went down...I hear them shooting off a firework. I press the button...there's a ten second delay, then my camera takes the picture for about 6 seconds and then the picture shows up on the back screen. I press the button again, 10 second delay (cringe as I realize that I've missed all the fireworks this time), takes picture for 6 seconds, picture of nothing shows up on the screen, and...I push the button again, 10 second delay...

I did this for pretty much the whole show...took about 80 pictures, most of which were of a TOTALLY blank sky...but I did end up with a few that I liked. Probably would've worked a little bit better with a remote, but then, it wouldn't have been quite so exciting ;)

(also, thanks to John for picking a great spot to do know your fairgrounds ;) )

Friday, July 04, 2008

Garden (and everything else) Update

I have good news--my garden is doing well and I've only had one almost casualty (in a Monty Python-esque way that little tomato plant is "not dead yet" but I think it will be soon). Here's the overall picture of how everything's doing...

(You can see kind of the strawberry plants on the side, tomato plants in the middle, one yellow squash in the back side, banana peppers in the front right, and zucchini and acorn squash on the back right)

A few weeks ago, I moved them all to the center of our backyard so they'd get more sunshine. The plants all seem to be doing better out there, and we've only had one Callie/tomato plant collision right after I moved them. I was concerned that hauling water out there would be a big pain, but it's been raining on and off so much that I've only had to water them a couple times.

I did get some miracle grow (the kind you mix in the watering can) and it has been kind of impressive...

I'm crediting it with bringing the zucchini and acorn squash back from near death (or else squash has some crazy regenerative super powers that I wasn't aware of!). I'm excited that they've perked back up, and am looking forward to (hopefully...maybe) having some squash in the future.

Another exciting development--flowers on the tomato plants! More proof that plants the are in my care may actually produce vegetables. It's totally amazing to me!

Other pictures...

One of the banana pepper plants--they were originally in a too-small container so I wasn't sure if they'd ever do their growing thing...but it looks like they've perked up a bit (another Miracle Grow success story?).

My herbs seem to be doing okay, too...I don't think they're big enough to start cutting them yet though (in this picture--Basil, the second pot has rosemary, curled parsley, and thyme, and the third pot is lavender). I'd like to also have dill and mint but I haven't bought them yet, so we'll see...

The plants on my porch are doing well...and I went through and weeded the flower bed along the sidewalk. Last Sunday, I planted wave petunias there (heck yeah, $5 at Lowes for 30 plants...turns out it does pay to procrastinate sometimes) so I'm hoping they grow and fill in some more (either way it looks better than all the crazy weeds that were out there). One of my hanging baskets is looking a little I'm cutting back on watering it some (it's holding the water like crazy so I think it may have some draining issues) and I'm going to make sure it gets some magical miracle grow, too.

What I've learned so far:

1) Make sure to get ever-bearing strawberries. My two strawberry plants produced a grand total of 3 strawberries--2 that were eaten by the bird and one that I split (yes, I cut the little thing in half) with John. They're still growing but don't seem inclined to produce any more berries.

2) Tomato plants need taller stakes or cages. I had one plant break in the last storm and another that was all bent over because their stakes (umm...actually random sticks from our yard) were too short. So I found some bigger random sticks to use as additional stakes...but I think next year, I may just start with cages and let them do their thing.

3)Using bigger pots for the veggies could be a good idea...they seem to be doing okay, but I've seen pictures of HUGE tomato plants in maybe next year we'll do that.

And now...everything else...

Wedding planning is going (only 4 months to go!). We still need to get the cake lined up, but we've got a meeting next week for that (and I think it's going to be adorable!!). I got his wedding band, and we're still looking for mine. Having some trouble finding a band that looks good with my engagement ring, but we'll keep looking. I'm designing the invitations and having them printed that'll be happening sometime soon. We also found readings that we both like a couple nights ago (!!) which is something I wasn't sure would happen.

We're going up to Lancaster for the holiday weekend, staying with John's parents. Hopefully, we'll get to see the fireworks tonight and the Marine Corp Band perform tonight(it's a little bit rainy), and then we'll be helping paint the living room on Saturday and Sunday.

Well, that's about it here...hope everyone has a great holiday weekend!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Callie dog

She's being extra cute this morning (but isn't wanting to sit still for pictures)

Saturday, May 24, 2008


This morning, I went with Nancy and Stephanie to the Farmer's Market to get plants for my container garden. It was a beautiful morning, and there were beautiful plants everywhere...finally I made some decisions (with Nancy and Stephanie's help...I was totally overwhelmed by all the options). Then it was off to Lowes to buy more than my weight in potting soil (thankfully they have helpful Lowes guys who will put stuff in your car for you). Turns out I didn't need quite that much potting soil (oops) but it does mean I'm all ready to buy some more plants!

Let's call this the before picture...

and another...

And here are the afters...

This is my front porch so far...I think I'll definitely get a few more plants for the front (and I also have two adorable hanging baskets that aren't up yet). The red/pink flowers are...(have to go check the little tag)...okay, Strawberry Super Parfait Dainthus, and I believe the other plants (soon to be flowers) are Gladiolas.

This is my herb garden (I've always thought about having one, and now I do!). The bigger pot has curled parsley, thyme, and rosemary. The little red pot has basil, and the yellow pot has lavendar. I have these out on the tiny balcony that's off our kitchen. I think this is the cutest set-up I have so far.

This one's the vegetable/fruit garden. The bigger pots are all tomatoes (grape, cherry, Roma, and Mr. Stripey) and the two smaller pots are strawberries. I've also planted banana peppers and dug some wild strawberries up from our yard and planted those. I think I'd like to get some more strawberries and maybe a few more vegetables...eggplant...zucchini...

I'm really excited about all the plants and I seriously can't wait for them to grow (I keep looking at them to see if they look any different ;) ). Keep your fingers crossed and send all your green thumbness my way, so they can all make it through the summer!


Our stand mixer arrived in the mail earlier this week, and (of course) I had to document the occasion.

Me, John, and our shiny new mixing bowl...

John using it for the first time (french bread!). The bread turned out great, and I'm really excited about all the things we can use it for (and for the ice cream maker attachment that'll be coming in the mail).

Saturday, April 19, 2008

More Spring Shooting...

This morning, I decided to head out again to see what kind of pictures I could get of all these blossoming trees. It was MUCH warmer and less windy this time, so I took tons more pictures and got several that I like even better than the ones I took last week (although it did take a lot longer to sort through and decide which ones I actually liked and then working with those to crop them and make them smaller).

There is a particularly pretty group of trees over by the bike path, which is where most of these pictures are from (except the pink blossoms, those are in from the parking lot near work). Every time I've driven or walked by, there are people out there eating picnics under the trees, taking pictures, cuddling with their sweethearts, or bringing their kids to see them. It's really fun, and I'm definitely glad to be a part of the tree appreciation! =)

While I was out this morning, it started sprinkling rain while I was standing under one of the trees, and white petals were falling down all around me. Amazing!

On the range...

On Tuesday evening, I went to the shooting range with John. I shot his 22 handgun (until the darn thing jammed three times and then I was DONE with it) and his 22 rifle, while he went and shot his Russian something-or-other over on the rifle range.

I shot something like this (I'm not sure from what distance...but then, I'm not really keeping track ;) )...

I was pretty happy with the fact that almost every single shot hit the target, and that there were a few near the bullseye. John talks about wanting his shots to be in a group (like all together in a very small circle, quarter-sized, 3 inches, etc. etc.). Right now, I'm working on a pretty good grouping about the size of a medium pizza. ;)

Then, John came over and shot the 22 rifle (and here he is posing because I wasn't quick enough with the camera to get him actually shooting)

And here is the best picture I could get of both of us (ear protection and all, sexy huh? ;) )