Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My 2010 To-Do List

I've never been that much of a resolution-maker. I am a huge to-do lister, and that kind of falls in line with making resolutions, so here goes (in no particular order):

1. Try one new recipe per month. I spend so much money on magazines I should at least be getting my money's worth, right? Plus, the boys need some variety in their lives. They can't keep eating the same thing over and over and like it (or can they?) I have been blessed with picky eaters but variety is the spice of life, so we're going to branch out a bit in 2010.

2. Move more. In general. Santa Mom and Dad got me a Garmin Forerunner 305 so when the warm weather hits, I'll be hitting the pavement. I plan on training for a half mary but probably not until after I graduate (see #7), so early to late summer it is. For the cold winter months, I'll focus on yoga podcasts.

3. Stop dwelling. I'm horrible at dwelling on things and I think that's one of the reasons why my stress level is so high and immune system is so low.

4. Organize clutter. I'm a notorious pack rat. If I haven't used it in over a year, I don't need it. But I might...

5. Save $. A minimum of three trips planned in 2010. Hawaii in June, Orlando in November for Thanksgiving are the big ones.

6. Go to church more. We haven't really found a church we are in LOVE with yet. We're going to make the rounds and see if we find one that fits us.

7. Graduate. I figure if I put it down in writing, it has to happen, right?

8. Drink more tea, less coffee. Somehow I don't see that happening with the new espresso maker I got from Santa Ross, but one can dream. I found a great tea that I absolutely love, it's called Candy Cane Lane. The peppermint is a great soother to my horrible stomach, so I kill two birds with one stone on that one.

9. Stick to it. Really. I tend to not stick to things, so if one of my resolutions is to stick to my resolutions, maybe it will be easier.

Hope everyone has a happy and healthy 2010. <3

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The perfect cup

I got one of my Christmas presents early - an espresso maker with steam wand (!) and a caramel macchiato kit from Starbucks. It works perfectly and I enjoyed the perfect cup early this morning.

Can't wait for Christmas, and am bursting at the seams with happiness for a dear friend who has good news to share.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Baking extravaganza and Christmas dogs

Our annual gift exchange for the kids was this weekend at our house. We decided on brunch and the food was all yummy! I made some treats for the girls on Saturday. First up were Oreo truffles, then sugar cookies, then Gingerbread men.


The kids had a great time decorating, eating and opening presents.

Abby got Taylor/Bossy a little Christmas outfit and they looked adorable! I can't believe Christmas is 4 days away!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Night of Wine and beyond

Catching up...

Lucas had a basketball game early Saturday morning and the Rockets were victorious! Also, Taylor graduated from puppy training last Saturday, which was pretty much a whirlwind day. We had that, entertaining my cousin, and three parties in one night. After Tay's graduation, we hurried to the Old Spaghetti Factory to meet my aunt and cousins for lunch. Unfortunately when we were there, Max's DS case and all of his games got left behind and we haven't been able to track it down since. :( After lunch, we went to Jillian's to let the boys play away. They had a great time.


Saturday night I dubbed as the Night of Wine. First up was Nate and Kelly's wine fundraiser, then Vascular Surgery's Christmas party at Easley Winery, then Department of Surgery's party at Skyline Club. We were running late and didn't get to stay at Nate and Kelly's very long before we had to head to Easley. We decided we'd hit the Surg party afterward, but the invitation said it was over at 10 and by the time we left Easley and went back it was almost 9:40 so we decided to scrap the third party altogether and head back to Nate and Kelly's.

Sunday afternoon I had a spa day planned for Ross and me, along with some shopping. We went to Villagio Day Spa for a massage and facial. Their men's locker room was nice and cozy! (I got to go in because no other men were scheduled that day). The massage and facial were great! We had some issues at check-out but they were resolved within a few days and we are now very happy with our experience there.

The following week was busy! We had lots of Christmas shopping along with studying and a final for me. The boys' last day of school before break was Friday and we made a fan favorite, cinnamon sugared pecans for their teachers. It's a gift I make my co-workers every year and they love it. This year I packaged them in a cute Crate and Barrel mug with little gift tags from Michaels.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Taylor's first snow

We had our first snow of the season last night and it was Taylor's first snow to explore. She loves it!


So much to catch up on since I blogged last.

Thanksgiving has come and gone another year. We always host my mom's side of the family, and it has grown so much over the years. We were very sad to not have cousins Kara and Bryan this year, but excited to see them in two weeks for a cheer trip to Indy. Ross, Lucas and I ran the Drumstick Dash again this year (Lucas's 1st year). We did the short course to make sure Lucas could handle it and he was fantastic! Yummy treats at the end included free Starbucks coffee and Noodles and Co. Mac and Cheese. We got a bonus Noodles & Co free meal, too, which will definitely come in handy. After the race we went home and showered and then it was on to M & D's to start cooking. My sister already started some of the dishes and the turkey was already done. We had a nice meal and it was nice to catch up with relatives we usually only see once a year. We won't be seeing them next year, though, as M & D have promised us all a trip to Disney World to celebrate Thanksgiving stress free next year. Ross and I are going to research Turkey Trots in Orlando! That's at least three vacations on the docket next year - better kick the savings up a notch!

We made saltine toffee and felt finger puppet turkeys for work and the boys' teachers. The Martha Stewart-inspired turkeys were modified a little bit and the saltine toffee recipe was delicious and so incredibly easy. Max helped prepare and we all did our fair share of taste testing!

I am so thankful for a loving family, wonderful friends, a good job and almost being done with school. I'm this close!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Vegan Thanksgiving

I saw last week in my Whole Foods flyer that they were conducting a workshop/demonstration for Vegan Thanksgiving at the Carmel store. I'm not vegan, but I am vegetarian and wanted to know some other choices for me besides a huge plate of sides and Tofurky. I made Tofurky last year, and besides being a huge portion, it just wasn't very good. WF was testing Celebration Roast and I really wanted to try it before I bought it so I didn't have to deal with another meal like last year's! Ross went with me and begrudgingly sat through most of the demonstration. The two people holding it were both local vegans and they gave us all copies of their recipes. The first dish they made was Seitan Pot Pie. It was delicious. Instead of using meat they used seitan but you could sub Morningstar Farms Chik'n or Steak strips and it would be really good. They used potato soup instead of veggie broth. I would probably use a half and half mixture of both. Everything they used was really easy to prep and the dish took no time at all to make. They subbed Earth Balance margarine in for regular margarine or butter. If I was going to make it I'd probably use butter.

They also made the celebration roast. It was really tasty. Not like fake meat at all. It's a grain meat and was stuffed with pureed vegetables. The roast was already fully cooked so to prepare, she just simmered it in vegetable broth to give it more density. Unfortunately the fat and calorie content in these are VERY high, but so is the protein, and a little goes a long way. She also made a homemade stuffing which was really delicious. For the bread crumbs she used Scholar's Inn sourdough and it was perfect.

In addition to these eats, we also sampled a vegan pumpkin pie and several beverages. The vegan pumpkin pie was made by Whole Foods and was served with soy and rice whipped cream and vegan marshmallows. I thought the pumpkin pie was pretty good, but I could tell a difference between the pumpkin pie I'm used to eating. I was not a fan of either of the whipped creams. The marshmallows were pretty good. I didn't realize marshmallows had animal bones in them from the gelatin. I'm sad to say goodbye to my beloved rice krispie treats!

The beverages we sampled were soy and rice-based milks. All were non-dairy and were pretty good. This was the first time I had ever tried non-dairy milk. The soy milk was thicker and they compared it to 2% cow's milk. The rice milk was compared to skim milk. We tried Silk Nog, Silk Pumpkin Pie Spice Milk, Soy Peppermint Stick Milk and rice milk nog. I am NOT an eggnog fan by any means but I thought the Silk Nog blew the others out of the water. It was so incredibly delicious! I don't know if I'd buy it because I would be the only one drinking it in my house, but I would definitely drink it again if I had the opportunity.

All in all, it was a great demonstration and I am very glad I went. We left with a 1 lb. celebration roast and some mock gravy. No Tofurky for me this year!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Halloween and settling into fall

Halloween came and went and wasn't very eventful for us. We went to the Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner and the Pacers home opener on Friday (they lost) and then stopped by Nikki's house for her birthday/Halloween party. Saturday the boys were with Eric so we ended up passing out a minimal amount of candy (we had less than 50 trick or treaters!) and then had pizza and lounged around. Note: Please note my name on the ticket in the picture below - although they do that for everyone, for some reason I am quite proud...

It's crazy that we're in the midst of fall and it feels like spring! Thanksgiving (a tie for my favorite holiday) is right around the corner. Lucas, Ross and I are running the Drumstick Dash in the morning, then we're having lunch with my mom's side of the family. Friday we're going out with the girls and their SOs. Should be lots of fun!

I've been doing a lot of baking lately. Some recipes have worked out really well, others haven't. Can't wait to try some pumpkin scones this week and am sending a care package to my great friend Alison in HI who just had a baby!

We're down one person at work so it has been extra busy the past month or so. Can't wait to get a small break! Before I look too far ahead, I have to worry about a couple of papers and the end of the fall semester...


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fan jamming and fall break

The Pacers open their season on Friday at Conseco and we will be there with bells on. Sunday was the annual Fan Jam and we took the boys for a fun, free afternoon. We picked up some goodies, watched Boomer and the Power Pack do some tricks and then watched a little bit of rookie hazing. What I love about the Fan Jam is that we get to see the players and their personalities. They made Tyler Hansbrough and AJ Pryce sing and dance and it was hilarious! After that there was an autograph session and we all met Danny Granger, Luther Head, Solomon (sp?) Jones, AJ Pryce, Josh McRoberts and TJ Ford. The boys got shirts and a basketball autographed and Ross got his Danny Granger all-star t-shirt autographed. It was tons of fun!

The boys are on Fall Break for the rest of the week and tonight we're making Halloween sugar cookies! This time, I doubled the batch of dough and we're going to send a care package to their favorite cousins in Tennessee. Stay tuned for photos! Decorating cookies is always so much fun...although eating them might be better!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New addition

Ross and I have been talking about getting another dog on and off for awhile. We have one dog already and the way our lives were going we didn't think we should get another dog because we were too busy. So we'd have the debate back and forth. Karen, one of my good friends from work constantly sends me emails about puppies that need to be rescued and last week we were faced with the opportunity to rescue a baby black lab. We had to make the decision very quickly and decided it was too quick for us. Luckily she found another home very quickly. Then Karen told me about a litter of puppies that needed homes. She sent pictures and Ross and I started to talk about it. The mom is a wire hair terrier and they didn't know who the father is. The whole back story with this dog is so ridiculous I can't even write about it because it's beyond unbelievable. I'll just say the puppies were conceived on an Indian reservation in Las Vegas.

We made the trek to Rhonda's house to look at the puppies Friday night. They live in Clayton, and it took us about an hour to get there with 465 traffic. We knew we wanted another girl and there were 3 girls from the litter of 7 (one was put to sleep after being diagnosed with hydrocephalus). The three girls were Lilly, Roxie and Bella. Lilly was two shades of brown and very calm. Roxie looked just like a German Shepherd and was much bigger than the other two girls. Bella was rambunctios and black with white and brown markings. After about an hour of playing and deliberation, we chose Bella.

The poor baby vomited twice on the way home and cried for her brothers and sisters Friday night. Saturday she was much better and ready to integrate into our family. The boys came home Sunday and were thrilled. They both love her to pieces. Our other dog (Bossy) is tolerating her, and I think they've bonded a little bit in the backyard this week. She is such a joy to have around and we are so thankful for her. Now, if we can just get some sleep...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hit hard

This week has been especially bad for us as Lucas injured himself last Saturday and Max has been hit hard by a viral infection. Saturday morning Lucas had a black belt credit test (he's testing for 2nd Dan in February!!!) and this test was for recommended 2nd Dan. They had to break FOUR boards with a back kick. He tried to break with his left foot and the boards were uneven and they slipped and he ended up with a foot full of cuts and bruises. It was so sore we had to get a doctor's note for PE because the poor kid couldn't even put his shoes on. It is Friday, now, and he's better, so we're happy about that.

Poor Max has had such a time. He started feeling sick on Friday and it was apparent he was very sick on Saturday. I took him to the doctor on Monday and she said he had the stomach flu. He had a fever on and off for about five days. He didn't start eating regular food until Thursday and didn't handle it very well. Needless to say, he's been out of school all week!

I've been working from home all week so I could stay with Max. Luckily no one else is exhibiting any flu-like symptoms so I'm hoping the worst is behind us. Keep your fingers crossed for healthier days to come!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Google Reader - my current picks

My Google reader is on overload these days. I recently discovered it and I love it! It gives automatic updates to blogs I normally read and puts them all in one place, eliminating time and adding so much convenience! Here is a small list (NOT exhaustive!) of the blogs I've been reading:

 Oh She Glows:  Angela is a Canadian woman who runs a healthy bakery of Globars, Glonola and other fun treats. She just started shipping to the US in October.  

Carrots N Cake: a healthy living blog by Tina

Inner Workings of a College Graduate: Meghann is a recent college graduate who lives in Florida. She has delicious recipes and blogs about running, work and life.

Beneath it All: Kelly, Meghann's sister, also has a healthy living blog.

Runner's Kitchen: Probably my favorite healthy living blog is by Megan in New York City. She has great recipes and fun stories. I also love to see what kind of salad she gets from the office cafeteria every day.

Sassy and Single (in the City) to Instant Mom: A friend of a friend, Dee Dee blogs about her interests and drastic life changes as the instant mom to two young girls.

Frankly Speaking: A friend from high school blogs about her life and her adorable kids in Bloomington, IN.

And finally, etsy wedding. I love the handmade items on etsy and have been browsing in preparation for our upcoming wedding, whenever that may be. Don't ask, and I won't tell.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jinxed myself!

I should have waited to post on the half-marathon training. Saturday morning I went out for my 5 mile run. I took a different route than I usually take and probably shouldn't have. I raced across a stop light to beat the traffic and tripped over uneven pavement. I landed on my left knee, which thankfully is not the one that has been giving me problems, but tore the skin off of it nonetheless. It was swollen and bleeding and looked a mess. People were stopping to see if I was okay so it must have looked like a  pretty bad fall. I persevered though, and finished my 5 miles. I ended up walking most of it at a pretty slow pace!

Today (Tuesday), it feels a little better but is still very sore. I wasn't feeling well on Sunday and predicted I'd miss my Monday run, and I did. I was supposed to do 2 miles and really don't want to fall behind in my training.

Had tons of fun this weekend though. Caught up with old friends and had a few too many drinks. Tonight is Moe's Southwest Grill night for Riverside so I'm sure we'll be loading up on burritos and chips. My second class is canceled, so at least I'll be home early! Lucas's birthday is coming up quickly! I have no idea what to get the kid who has everything.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Do run run run...

I am officially training for a half marathon. It's the Monumental half on Nov. 7 in downtown Indy. I'm using a Runner's World program and am starting my 4th week (out of 10) tomorrow. I'm not to the high mileage yet but I'm nervously awaiting! Next week is also my first tempo run and I can't wait to do speedwork. I think I'm going to do the speedwork at Riverside's track with Lucas. He's been running a little bit with me and we've had fun. Wish me luck! It will be my first half. I am anticipating a run/walk ratio of 10 miles running/3.1 miles walking. We'll see!

Sinking the biz

This weekend was pretty busy for us. My friend Zach was in town from Miami for the IU-Western Kentucky football game and a visit. He stayed with Somer and we ate dinner with them on Thursday after she picked him up from the airport. The plan was to go to Bloomington Friday night to hang out and hit Nick's. One of the docs I used to work for has a house near Bloomington so we arranged to spend the night there. We had to take the dog because my parents are out of town (getting home tomorrow- yay!). So I left work early Friday, we packed and packed the dog to head down. The cabin was NOT near Bloomington - in fact it was about an hour away. We left the dog there (crying) and headed into town. We didn't get there until almost 9. By that time we were starving. We headed straight to Nick's and ate. Somer was impressed there was a cookie "van" parked outside Nick's that baked fresh cookies. She and Susan hit the truck on our way out of Nick's. I ordered a 1/2 veggie strom and 1/2 order of mushrooms for dinner. It was delicious! Also had 2 Woodchucks. Then we played Sink the Bismark. Please don't let the picture above fool you. That may have been the only time Zach sank the bismark. I don't know how it was possible for me to lose so many times, but I finally had to step out of the game because it was too much for me! After we left we went to Brothers for a quick drink then headed back to Somer's hotel. We decided to drive back to Ninevah and then head back to Bloomington in the morning to tailgate. I slept most of the way back to the cabin but it was a tortuous ride. Saturday morning we met everyone (we were an hour late) to tailgate. I had a veggie sausage, chips and Rice Krispie treats. We brought beer but neither one of us touched them! I think I drank a Coke, too. After tailgating, Ross and I packed up and left to go visit with my Aunt Darlene. We had a nice 2 hour visit then it was time to head back to the cabin to get the dog and clean up and head home. If I had it to do all over again, we probably would have boarded the dog. It was very difficult to travel with her and I felt badly leaving her there by herself in an unfamiliar place. It was great to catch up with old friends and my beloved aunt, so I'm glad we went!!

One last thing. This was the only gas station we found in town. It was gas, gifts, ammo and bait. One stop shopping!


Last weekend Ross and I took a trip to IKEA. We also hit up Cinci's new outlet mall and it was fabulous! I came home with some LeCreuset goodness and Ross got some new sunglasses. We also brought home a ton of stuff from IKEA to convert Lucas's closet into a workspace. We're nearly done but it's still a work in progress. Apparently while we remembered to measure, we didn't think to measure the things we were getting, therefore some things didn't fit. Oh well. We don't claim to be Bob Vila. Here's our IKEA haul and my yummy lunch! It was a spinach wrap with vegetable soup. They have pretty good food there.

Now on to the malls! First LeCreuset. I got a 4.5 qt pan at over 50% off. What a dream!

I also managed to talk myself into a tea kettle. It was only $25! It practically blends in with the stove...well not in this picture because our counter is white!

After many hours of walking and shopping we were starving. We stopped at Frisch's Big Boy to eat dinner. They don't have them any more in Indiana and I love it! When I used to eat meat, I got the Swiss Miss. I was hoping for a veggie option. I ended up getting the Big Boy without meat, and basically tailored it to be the Swiss Miss. It had swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and special sauce. It was delicious! I also got the salad bar. They had a pretty good fruit selection, and Ross was excited to see "strawberry bananas," which are apparently just chopped bananas in strawberry pie filling. I didn't want to see the nutritional stats on that. After our filling meal we went home. It took us so long to get home because of construction and detours. We figured we probably shouldn't ever leave Indianapolis again - we had pretty bad luck during these two trips!


We've had a busy past couple of months. Here's a quick recap. We went to the Pacers Open House after Stella's baptism party. It was supposed to be an event to get people to buy season tickets. It worked - sort of. We bought a mini-game package and it should be fun! We took a tour of the locker room, had some snacks and the boys shot free-throws. Right after that it was on to Max's baseball game. He had a really long day!

A few weeks ago we took a roadtrip to Chicago. We'd been promising the boys a trip to the Museum of Science and Industry for the Harry Potter exhibit. I had a weekend in September picked out, but U2 was there and the Irish festival in the same weekend, so we ended up going the weekend after the boys started school. The exhibit was great, but the travel wasn't! It ended up taking us 7 hours to get home and it was truly miserable. The boys were gems though; I don't know how they managed to keep themselves busy! We were parked on the highway for most of it though, so they could get out and walk around.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Settling in

The boys have both settled into school well and are adjusting to early bedtimes and early mornings again! Max joined Cub Scouts this past week and we're looking forward to starting that adventure with him. He's still busy with baseball on Sundays and Lucas has tae kwon do and is back in basketball again this winter. My semester starts tomorrow, and I only have two more to go! I am mentally preparing myself to get back into school and homework mode; I hope I adapt as well as the boys have thus far. Ross's birthday is this weekend and we're still thinking of ways to celebrate. We have a busy few weeks coming up and before we know it, fall will be here!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Back to school...

Max's ice cream social is tonight, and he has the same teacher for first grade that Lucas had in kindergarten so we're very excited about that. Both boys start school on Wednesday and we can't believe the summer as we know it is already over.

Max started baseball last night and will have double headers through September on Sundays. We are going to Chicago for a quick trip next Saturday to the Museum of Science and Industry to see the Harry Potter movie exhibit and we're all really looking forward to that. Bonus if we can make schedules work to see Val and Swan.

My summer class is finally over (I should not complain since it was only 6 weeks) and my fall classes begin 8/27. I'm in the home stretch, though, and so thankful for that!!!

Finally, wanted to say "Happy Birthday" to my wonderful father. It's his 65th today, and he is the best dad ever. I'm cooking up some meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans for dinner for him tonight! :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

First tastes

We've been telling the boys for a long time that we'd take them for fondue so last Sunday we decided to go to the Melting Pot. We were celebrating several things and figured we could splurge a little. We got cheddar cheese fondue and s'mores chocolate fondue. Lucas (surprisingly) was not a fan of the cheese fondue but Max liked it once our server brought tortilla chips for dippers! They both loved the chocolate but Lucas was not a fan of the steam that kept blowing his way!


My speech teacher told us about letterboxing and we all thought we'd give it a try. First we made our own stamps, which is certainly not as easy as it looks.

We found a few places in and around Fishers to look for letterboxes. The first place we went was Ritchey Woods. There were supposed to be 4 there but we only found the first three. It was kind of a bummer because the log book was in the fourth one so we didn't even get to use our stamps! The first box we found was pinecone, and the stamp was beautiful.

After we found the three at Ritchey Woods we went to Flowing Well Park in Carmel and found one there. The last one was at the Fishers Train Station but it was closed on weekends so we're going to try to go sometime this week. Letterboxing is free and is great fun for the kids! We highly recommend it!

The Fourth

We had a great Fourth of July weekend. Friday night we watched The Goonies at IMA with a great group of friends. On the fourth we went to my friend Josh's house and caught up with him and his family. The first pic is Max in front of the big screen at IMA. The second is actually from the weekend before...we went to a cookout at Mike and Somer's and then went to watch fireworks. Somer bought sprarklers for the kids.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summer time, and the livin' is easy

We are having a fantastic summer so far. We have been filling our days with family and friends and a little bit of painting! Lucas went a week-long camp with his friend Phil and had a great time. Max has had a couple of birthday parties, and is looking forward to seeing more of his friends. Hope everyone is having a great summer - it's hard to believe people are talking about "back to school" already!

Friday, June 19, 2009

I baked last night, for what seemed like forever. I can't really complain though, because everything was from a mix, it was just time consuming and I didn't get started until after 8. I am inspired by Bakerella but know I am not even close to her. I'm not even "not martha" but I'm trying. I made Betty Crocker's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies (brookies or crownies in our house) and they were delicious. I made one batch for us and one batch for a going away party at work for one of our Vascular Surgery residents. This week I'm going to make sugar cookie favors for a great friend's baby shower. This requires me to flock and flood, but I will be up to the task. Pictures to come!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The next Tiger?

Max and I volunteered at a golf outing on Friday and he had so much fun riding on the carts. I let him drive once, but quickly took the reins when he landed us in tall grass! He also worked on his short game a little bit. It was so cute! The second picture is of Max and me with Nick Zyromski, the wonderful HPB surgeon I used to work for at IU.