Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ok, so I have a few weekends to cover here....

Weekend of March 4 - 
So we took Friday off.  Why on a random chilly day would we do that, you ask....
Well, we had to go and pick out our new puppy.  Yup, we're a 3 dog household now.

Meet Griffin:
He's about 5 months old and he's the most laid back puppy I've ever seen.  Laid back to the tune of we have to wake him up to eat and go outside.  We're smitten, we're in love, we think he's the best thing since beer.  I feel sorry for all of you once we have kids b/c this guy is all we can talk about anymore - kids are a whole other level.

On Saturday and Sunday - it was rainy, cold, and wet.  We learned that Mr. Giff doesn't really care for those conditions.  Evidenced by the fact that he wouldn't actually go to the bathroom - that guy held it ALL day long.  We know this b/c we were outside with him in the rain, cold, and wet ALL. day. long.  5 minutes inside and then 10 minutes outside.  It was a LONG day.  But eventually we won.  And we haven't had an accident since....that wasn't our fault.

No Sunday movie.  For no reason at all.  I don't know why we skipped it.

Weekend of March 11 -
Mike came to town for a date on Friday night.  Matt and I stayed home and watched TV.

SaturDAY started with puppy training class with Dogs and Kat.  We've got a pit bull and we plan to turn around as many minds about this breed as possible -he has to be an ambassador for the breed which means a TON of training.
It was beautiful out so after training and a trip to Hot Diggity Dog for lunch,  it was time for our all day drinking party.  The first pretty Saturday of the year, you just have to spend it on a porch.  So we started in our back yard and then we all headed over to Lester and Dooze's to finish out the evening.

Our Sunday Morning movie has just been completely forgotten about....that always seems to happen when Mike's in town.  Instead we had another day of drinking on the porch.  And we started another project - but that's a separate post.

Weekend of March 18 - 
I have no idea what we did on Friday night.   I'm pretty sure Sakah came over and we began the evening on the front porch.  I dunno what we did for dinner - ordered in something, I'm sure.

SaturDAY - 2nd puppy training class and then came all the prep for Marchgiving.  This was the biggest year yet.
Guest list included:
The Heads - brought the stuffing and the cranberry sauce
The Hawks - brought the rolls and the dessert
Sakah - brought the corn and green bean casseroles
Ronnie and Liz - brought the broccoli casserole
and Chris (who left Japan 18 hours before the quake hit) - he didn't have to bring anything.
Matt and I supplied the turkey, sweet potato casserole and mashed potatoes.

Marchgiving was a success and I know this b/c I have only one picture (of the food) and had a clogged kitchen sink once it was all said and done.  The dishes weren't done until Sunday night.  Maybe I'll upload the picture later....but probably not.

SunDAY - No Sunday morning movie.  Chris stayed with us and since we didn't have any clean dishes (all were used for the Marchgiving festivities,) we went for coffee and breakfast at Ugly Mugs.  About 3 blocks down the street.
RotoRooter was waiting in our driveway when we got back.  After telling us they wanted $350 to snake the drain - we said - uh, no thank you.  And Arthur the Plumber (our regular Harley riding, pony tail having plumber) made an appearance later in the afternoon.  By that time, Sam had made his way over and the 4 of us were on the front porch again with a game of "bags" and some beer.  The perfect way to spend a Sunday.

And finally, this weekend - 
Friday - we took a half day to get some life insurance and have our taxes done.  Grown up stuff.  Turns out we had to put off the taxes but we did get some life insurance.

SaturDAY - puppy training and then Gabby's Burgers - Oh. My. God.  Awesome.  So awesome that we had to come home and take a nap.  Plus it was cold and rainy outside - so we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening  on the couch watching basketball and planning our vegetable garden.

SunDAY - No Sunday morning movie - we had to go to puppy play time.  Our trainer also does puppy play sessions so that the little guy will learn to play well with others.  The added benefit is that it wears his little ass out and he sleeps for 2 days afterwords.
We (Griff in tow) headed to Lebanon to get our taxes done - Jimmy Bowen is our tax man.  He's also a musician.  Jimmy Bowen and Santa Fe  He tours and stuff - but not during tax season.
We hit the Home Depot on the way home.  $200 later - we're home and watching NPT learning about Buddhism. 

Now you're up to date -
See you family humans in a few weeks in New Madrid.  We're bringing Mr. Griff so everyone can meet him and so we can get some extra points on the socialization contest our trainer is having.  We're gonna WIN!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

This Weekend - one week late.

Sakah made it official!
Mike showed up Friday afternoon since he was the "preacher" for the affair.
Matt was a groomsman and I just hung out the whole weekend.

Friday night - The Un-Rehearsal dinner at Daniel's house in Franklin.  Not a bit of rehearsing but a ton of eating and drinking.

SaturDay - Matt went to work early his first Saturday of work since Sears.  Mike and I hit Pucketts Grocery with Sam, Steve, and Lisa for brunch.  Highly recommend.  Bloody Mary's and biscuits and gravy are the perfect start to any day.  Matt met us there around 11a then we went home took a nap and got ready for the wedding.
Mike and Matt doing "the Lenor."
Matt was NOT into getting his picture taken...PUNK.

Saturday Night - The wedding went off without a hitch, the food was good, and the party was awesome.
Lester and Dooze.

And Dez. Was the perfect gentleman - slept through almost the whole reception.

Steve and Lisa.  Lisa was the DD - love her for that.

They weren't so sure about the champagne punch.

So the only thing to do in a situation like that is drink it like a shot.

A toast straight from Steve's wedding week: "Here's to fires, not the ones that bring down shacks and shanties, but the ones that bring down pants and panties."

Down the hatch.

Apparently Mike and Sam didn't get the memo about shooting the champagne punch.

Steve and I did and we promptly called them both Pusoirs (said poo-swah - French for pussy.)

And then we were proud of ourselves....

And then we were proud of Sam.

The last shot of any night that the 4 of us are together at an event....for the last 3-4 years.
After this we hit the road with to-go cups of soda - for the Jack Daniels that was waiting in the car.  By the time we made it back to Nashville, I was done.  Sleeping on the bathroom floor - done.  Great party.

SunDay - no movie of the week today.  Since Mike was camped out on the couch, I couldn't live there all day.  Someone made the suggestion that we all have a Bloody Mary - and we did....All. Day. Long.  Sakah came over about 3p and we talked about the wedding over "brunch" at Mad Donna's. 
Back on the front porch, Mike and I continued to celebrate the nuptials.....while Matt - 
pretended to be a grown up and drank water on the couch until dinner time.
We wrapped up the weekend with a nice greasy dinner at Batter'd and Fried, again with Sakah.  It was a perfect wedding weekend, if I do say so myself. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

This Weekend

Better late than never, right?
Friday night - I worked out and then drank wine. 

Saturday - I worked out again - wahoo - go me!  Then we did a quick truck trade with Steve so that we could pick up some room dividers that I was taking from work.  Not sure yet what I'll be doing with them - maybe a head board of some sort??

Saturday Night - we had dirty Mexican dinner with Sakah.  The thing about dirty Mexican is that if they ask if you want a big beer, you have to say yes, it's practically state law.  But do you really want the big beer - NO, hell no you don't want the big beer b/c mixing the big beer with beans and rice is a BAD idea.  No one's stomach is built to hold that much substance.  No one.

Damn you Big Beer - I love and I hate you.
Sunday - We did have our Sunday morning movie:
It was good.  There is one line where he talks about his "specific set of skills" that makes the whole movie.
It was more than beautiful outside and since I'd gorged myself the night before - we had to get out and do something.  Matt pulled the bikes out of the shed and we took a ride over to a guy's house to look at a rug.  And the rug was awesome. We bought it.  (Does that count as working on the house?)
It's currently living in Living Room 2.  The old rug was too small and this one is perfect.  It's an 8 x 10 West Elm rug that we scored for $140.  You can't beat that with a stick.

The old rug is just a little small and doesn't really match anything - got her from Craig for $40 so while worth it, she's not quite what we want in this room.  Never fear, she will soon live in the front room upstairs where she matches and will feel much more at home.

And here's the new guy:

He's chocolate brown and big and beautiful.  And sooo thick.  He came from a home with a dog and a baby and the puppies are having a field day scratching and licking and pulling at the rug trying to find said dog and baby b/c they smell them.  A little strategically placed red pepper has hopefully fixed the issue.

We drank Mimosa's with Morning Glory juice which is a blend of pure sunshine and rainbows.  Awesome.  While I vacuumed the new rug (outside on the front porch,) Matt got sucked into a John Cusak movie on TV.
Who doesn't love a good and sappy John Cusak movie.  There was no rain in this one though - there was snow.

We finished the weekend with the Grammys.
Lady Gaga, Lady Antebellum, Eminem, Mumford and Sons, Avett Brothers.  Love them all.  Period.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Food, Inc

I've been interested in my food origins for about the last year now.  I quit buying and cooking chicken about 2-3 years ago, partly because I gave it up for Lent and never recovered and partly because I had heard the rumors about how chickens were raised and I wasn't comfortable with it.
Matt and I have been talking about buying a freezer and "buying a cow" for about a year now.  I've been reading the Omnivore's Dilemma.  Needless to say, I've been interested in where my food comes from for a while now.  I just never made the effort do something about it.  I preferred to ignore the thoughts in my head and keep going to the grocery paying more attention to price that quality.

Well, I watched Food Inc. and now it's worth the time and money to me to make the change.  I've made friends with the Turnip Truck, our local organic grocery store.  And yes, it is more expensive but until I get my garden growing and my freezer and my grass fed cow - it's where I'll be going.

So for now, we're on the hunt for a chest freezer, a CSA, and a cow.  Click that link to find your own CSA.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

This Weekend

I think we're just over the house stuff.  This was another weekend of no house/reno stuff, just normal stuff.

Last week was longer than it should have been for both of I hit the couch on Friday night and promptly began my Wine Haze while Matt continued his scrubbing of every surface of the bike.

Saturday we lounged around the house, ate more HOT chicken, Matt worked on the bike somemore, and I had a documentary day of movies and monthly menu planning.
Blood Into Wine
Blood Into Wine
We were most interested in this because we're Maynard fans, the man sings like he's from Heaven.  This probably wouldn't have been as interesting to us if not for that....and the fact that I like to drink wine.  I was also glad to know the story behind his wine named Judith - it made him more real to me.

The Business of Being Born
The Business of Being Born
Since kids are a future endeavor for us, this was an interesting take on labor and delivery.  I think I may be a hippie. 

And finally, Food Inc.
Food, Inc.
Ok, I'm definitely a hippie.  This one deserves it's own post for all the changes that we're making due to it.  Maybe I'll get to that later this week.

Sunday was spent grocery shopping and cooking and eating and SuperBowling at the Sunday Ryan household.  Saw Vince and met Jordan of MONA while there.  If you haven't checked them out, then do.  Ms. Ryan has dubbed me a superfan and I kind of love them.
Anyway, we watched the game, ate too much food, and then went home to bed.  Unfortunately, we missed our Suday morning movie this week.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

$200k - HA!

HA!  I say!  I laugh in the face of $200k.

If you pay attention to the sidebar on this blog you will notice that the amount of money we're saving is totally different.  And by totally different - I really mean double.
*Hint - it's listed in my profile info.*

What led to that drastic change was a meeting with this lady: Lynn Taylor
She is a pseudo architect that has a bajillion years of experience with old houses.  And we spent almost 2 hours walking through our house and talking about all the stuff that's floating around in our heads.

Good News -
What we want to do inside is completely doable.
Bad News -
We don't think we can change the front of the house b/c we're in a historical conservation overlay - boo.
This means that this:
May not be possible.  The front of a house is sacred in historical overlay land. 

And then there's the bottom line - we've got a LOT of saving to do, otherwise none of it really matters.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Monthly Menu Planning

So I was doing some Googling around ....
Sidebar - don't you love that Google has become a verb.  Matt even says he googles his iTumes library now.  No really - that actually happened.
Anyway - on my Google trip the other day, I found this.
Monthly menu planning = interesting.

I don't know if I have the cojones to try it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pepperfire Chicken

As part of my hangover cure on Sunday, something fried totally fit the bill.
On our way home from running errands - we passed Pepperfire Chicken.  If you don't know, hot chicken is kindof our thing here in Nashville.
For me it was like all those tourist attractions in town, like 2nd Avenue.  Something that I know the tourists do but I steer clear of....until now.
While you won't be seeing me on 2nd Ave. anytime soon, you will find me back at Pepperfire Chicken.  It has both qualities I find non-negotiable:
  1. It's really effing good.
  2. It's on the East Side.
I'm no restaurant critic so I'll let the Nashville Scene do the talking:
And Yelp has always helped me out when it comes to reviews:

And since my family are the only ones that read this little dittty - let me know next time you're in town and we'll go together.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    This Weekend

    What we did:
    The normal stuff and none of the reno stuff.

    Friday night - we went to see Dooze and Lester, Sakah came too.
    SaturDay and night - we watched a movie:  Beer Wars
    Beer Wars
    Kinda slow and everyone HATES Anheuser Busch.
    Then Matt researched the restoration of his 1960s Hornet bike, and I went to Sarah Qs for a girls night in.  I had a pregnant DD and that means trouble in my world.

    SunDay and night - I was HUNGOVER which means I aimlessly followed Matt around while he went gather supplies for Hornet restoration and then I camped out with Grey's Anatomy Season 5.
    Oh yea, and the Sunday morning movie was: CouplesRetreat
    Couples Retreat
    Pretty funny.  I laughed out loud a couple of times.  A little slow towards the end but mindlessly funny, which is exactly what you need when you're HUNGOVER. 

    So no house progress but Matt is gonna have an awesome bike when he gets done.  And maybe someday I'll stop getting hungover so I can actually do a project or two.

    Friday, January 28, 2011

    Simple and Awesome Recipe

    I tried a bunch of different recipes this past week.  Sloppy joes, Chili with pumpkin in it, hummus, Beef stew with beer and paprika....I'm back to menu planning if you couldn't tell.
    But by far the best one from last week was the quickest and easiest:
    Broiled Salmon with Peppercorn Lime Rub and Quinoa salad.

    This really took 30 minutes - actually 30 minutes, not like Rachel Ray 30 minutes where it takes her 30 minutes and the rest of us an hour.

    If you like salmon, try this one.  It's too easy not to try.

    From Cooking Light:
    Salmon fillets (I used 3 fillets.)
    cooking spray
    2 teaspoons grated lime rind
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
    1 clove minced garlic
    **I didn't measure any of that stuff and eyed it all.  That's just how I roll in the kitchen.**

    Quinoa Salad:
    1 1/3 cup chicken broth
    3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
    1 chopped zucchini
    1 bell pepper (or red pepper/yellow pepper, whatever you've got around)
    2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

    Preheat boiler.
    Place fish on broiler pan sprayed with cooking spray - skin side down.  Combine remaining ingredients, sprinkle over fish.  broil 7 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

    Combine chicken broth and quinoa in medium saucepan, bring to boil.  Cover and simmer 12 minutes or until liquid is almost absorbed.  Stir in chopped zucchini and pepper.  Cover and cook 5 more minutes or until liquid is fully absorbed.  Remove from heat and stir in extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.

    Wednesday, January 26, 2011

    Menu Planning

    Even though it's not really a resolution, I plan to get better this year about my menu planning.
    I've always been pretty good about planning dinners through out the week but lately I've been slipping and Italia now knows Matt on a first name basis - so much so that the delivery guy even brings a black pen for him b/c he won't sign the credit card slip in blue.

    We need to make a change to say the least.

    So my plan involves a magnetic calendar and a list.  Of course a list, I am Sue's daughter.... list maker extraordinaire.

    Normally, I try to plan one week at a time.  I'm hoping this calendar will keep me better organized so I can get 2 weeks planned. 
    Maybe I'll even be able to start shopping sales - what?  I'm never that organized...Never.

    Wish me luck - I'll let you know how it goes.

    Monday, January 24, 2011

    This Weekend

    Nothing exciting happened.
    We didn't start any projects...unless you count laundry as a project??

    We did have a great sushi dinner with Sakah at Watanabe.  Ate way too much and spent waay too much.  We get pretty excited about eating out and that doesn't really do good things for the bank account.

    We also watched a couple of movies - The Future of Food.

    This movie made me even more anxious to start my garden and it made me want to buy a cow and raise chickens.  Genetically engineered food - it's a little scary.
    Although, I will say that I would have liked the movie to give more informaiton about why some believe genetically engineered food is a good thing. 

    And our weekly Sunday morning movie was Inglourious Basterds.
    File:Inglourious Basterds poster.jpg
    This was a Quentin Tatantino film and you could tell.  Check it out on IMBD from the link above.  We'd heard mixed reviews from others but it was our style and we both really liked it.  But then again Matt LOVES anything with Brad Pitt in it - he has a slight man crush.

    Sunday, January 23, 2011

    The best way to eat vegetables

    I've never had a sloppy joe before.  I remember them from grade school lunches - a pile of orangey red mushy meat food on a hamburger bun.  Eww.
    I ran across a recipe for sloppy joes - nary a can of Manwich in site so I thought I'd give it a try.

    It started something like this:
     Yep, those are carrots.  Grated sloppy joes?!  Yep, this recipe started with diced onion, grated carrots and minced garlic.

    For my first go around with sloppy joes, I wasn't disappointed but I have nothing to compare at this point.  I'll definitely keep this in my stash for picky eaters in the future....this is a great way to hide some veggies.  Once you add the tomatoes, the carrots disappear.

    I think for Matt and I though, the next time I make this recipe, I'll pour it over noodles and call it spaghetti.

    Here's the recipe for ya:
    From Martha Stewart.
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    4 carrots, coarsely grated (2 cups)
    1 medium onion, minced
    1 garlic clove, minced
    Coarse salt and ground pepper
    3 tablespoons tomato paste
    3/4 pound ground turkey (93% lean, dark meat) (I used 1lb)
    1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
    2 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
    1 tablespoon cider vinegar
    1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    4 whole-wheat hamburger rolls, split

    In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium; add carrots, onion, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes.

    Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add turkey; cook, breaking up meat with a spoon, until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes.

    Add tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 12 to 14 minutes. Serve on whole-wheat rolls.

    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    House Tour

    Because our house is one big circle and mighty confusing if you don't live here (so I've been told,) I thought a pictoral house tour may help.
    I'm only including the dowstairs since we don't live upstairs yet.
    Let's start at the front, shall we?
    We come in the front door:

    Turn to the left, through a doorway and enter the living room:

    Walk behind the loveseat to see the rest of the room and down the looong hall way type situation:

    Let's walk through that door way - and you'll find my "closet" and where I'm supposed to work out:

    We'll continue down the "hallway situation":

    The door way to the left in the above picture is the master bedroom:
    The doorway to the right in the master bedroom is the master bath which is dirty and I'm not showing you.  Privacy, please.

    The doorway at the end of the loong hallway situation is the laundry room and my shoe closet:

    Now, lets go back to the front of the house and come in the front door again:

    This time we're turning to the right and through another doorway:

    Step into the room and look down another looong hallway type situation:

    Let's walk through this door way and find the dining room:

    Continue down the "hallway situation" to this:

    Through the door on the right is the downstairs bathroom:

    And through the door on the left is a cut through to the other hallway, the one with the red runner just past the room with my closet and workout gear, and a door to the creepy, flooding basement.  No picture necessary, not really much to look at.

    Past the bathroom door is the breakfast area, where the "china cabinet" lives, which you cannot see in this picture:

    At the very back of the house through the last doorway down the looong "hallway situation" is the kitchen:

    I called all the walkways "hallway situations" b/c all it really is a walk through a bunch of rooms.  I've left out the stairway doors (one in the landry room and one in the workout room) since we're not visiting the upstairs today.  It's much too cold up there, we only keep the heat set to 45 degrees since we don't live up there yet.

    So there you have it, a tour of the Ringger Hudson Compound.  Hopefully, this will help you follow along when we start making changes and I start talking about where the new kitchen, new dining room, new living room, etc will live.

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    Other Furniture We've Acquired

    Over the past few months we've been fortunate to acquire some new pieces of furniture from my Dad's side of the family.
    A buffet and the clock sitting in the middle of it:
    Currently residing in the odd little aside to the living room that we don't know what to do with.

    Another buffet and hutch - you might call this a china cabinet except we don't have any china:
    Currently residing in the breakfast area, where we never have breakfast....or any other meal for that matter.

    Dining table:
    This table will unfold and we have leaf for it too - perfect for Thanksgiving dinners....except that I don't cook Thanksgiving dinners.  Cooking turkey scares me.
    It currently resides in the breakfast area, keeping the "china cabinet" company.
    Bonus points if you can spot the puppy in my picture. 

    And every great table needs chairs:
    We have 5 of these and 1 with arms.  They currently reside in the dining room with the big table we found on Craig's List for $75, b/c the Craig's List table will not fold down like the inherited one.

    We're very thankful to have this furniture from the family and with some of my own history.  Bonus that it's pretty and in great shape.