Friday, July 30, 2010

Craigslist Finds

Wednesday night, after receiving our fantastic bin of fresh fruits and veggies from Farm Fresh delivery, we made our way to Anderson to pick up a crate for Cheese! We've been meaning to start crate training Cheesy, but forking over $100 or so right off the bat, along with food, a bed, toys, dewormer, etc, etc, etc, didn't seem too appealing! So what did we do...looked on Craigslist! Antoine and I love Craigslist! We get/sell a lot of stuff on there...hell, that's where we found each other! HEY, stop judging us! Anyway, Antoine found this sweet, nearly brand spanking new (seriously, no signs that it's ever been used) Midwest icrate that generally goes for about $110 at Petsmart....for $30! Yeah, that's right, 30 bucks!! Insanity! It's a large sized crate so it'll be perfect for him when gets older, but it also have a divider so we can adjust it to fit him now! Perfect! And it folds up very easily, making it a breeze to transport! One guess what will be going with us this weekend to my parents house!

This is obviously not Cheese...he is neither elderly nor Golden Retriever! [via Petsmart]

So, what does Cheese think of the crate?? Well, I was a little nervous about it, truth be told! Some dogs can be very resistant to crates, especially whining little babies like Cheese! But I think the Cheese-man likes it! We set it up in the living room and immediately put up the divider and placed his bed and some toys in there. He didn't seem to mind it! Then when he fell asleep on my lap just before bed I swooped him up and put him in his bed and locked the crate. When we went up to bed, no crying or whining from Cheese. Same thing at 2am and 5am when we let him out to go to the bathroom! Now, hopefully I didn't just jinx myself and it stays that way!

Also, yesterday I ordered Cheeseball this super cute ID tag off of Etsy...

Hello, my name is Cheese! [via Etsy]

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hola Fruta!

Y Veggies (my attempt at Spanish...very sad indeed)! Last night we received our free Farm Fresh delivery bin that Antoine recently won in a giveway! We were pretty excited about it, not only because we've been wanting to try out Farm Fresh's services, but also because it was FREE!! When I got home around 5pm our bin still hadn't arrived, but then, as I was letting Cheese out and Antoine and I were talking in the front yard, the heaven's opened up and the delivery truck pulled up in front of our house! The delivery guy was very friendly and explained that we just leave our bin on the front porch when we are done with it and they'll pick it up on their next delivery!

We eagerly went inside and unpacked our goodies...

Sweet corn, green beans, assorted potatoes, sweet onions, apples (two different kinds), nectarines, bananas, strawberries, assorted peppers, and broccolini!

We immediately popped open the strawberries and tried them out! Delicious...very sweet! Then we made dinner: grilled chicken, grilled sweet corn, and steamed broccolini. Yum! Antoine and I had never had broccolini before (that's part of the reason why we subbed it for tomatoes, to try it out, and also because I HATE tomatoes) but we absolutely loved it! It's a little sweeter than normal broccoli. We are now HOOKED! And the corn...oh the corn! So sweet and so massive! And we've got four ears left of it! Yay!

After experiencing Farm Fresh delivery, albeit only one solo bin, I would definitely recommend it to others! Namely, those people, like myself, who don't have a ton of spare time to hit Findlay Market every week! In fact, we are actually considering doing this on a regular basis! We need more fruit and veggies in our lives...and the fact that it's local/organic just makes it even more appealing! It's definitely a really neat concept and I think our bin was totally worth the $35 (well, that it would have cost...if it weren't free)!

*For those of you who are lost and confused, regarding the title of today's's sherbet! In fact, Hola Fruta makes my most favorite sherbet EVER...all natural pomegranate and blueberry! It's amazingly delicious! That is all!

Happy Thursday my fair readers, all three of you!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Back-To-Back Funk

It's just going to be one of those days...I can feel it! I'm coming off of two back-to-back nights at Sbux (i.e. working 7:30 to 4:30 at the library, driving home, changing, then working 5:30pm to 11:30pm at Sbux). Last night, driving home, I was so exhausted I could barely keep my eyes open. I was swerving all over the place. Not good! Oh, and the mood I was in (and possibly still in)...two words...stinky/exhausted. Not a good combo. Pile on top of that bad mood and exhaustion: a puppy that won't stop chewing things (ex. we now cannot use either of our laptops since someone destroyed the adapters) and peeing in the house, a long list of things to get done before we head to my parents this weekend, and another Sbux night tomorrow. I'm less than thrilled (to say the least). And trying to stay positive is difficult when you're tired...and when you work 60 plus hours a week and you feel like you barely see your boyfriend, puppy or cats! And when you keep dropping things and forgetting things like you're some clumsy 80 year old woman with huge bags under her eyes!

Maybe tonight will be better!? I've got the Farm Fresh delivery to look forward to...and that enormous list of things to do before we can leave Friday! Ugh. Maybe today will be better and I won't feel like I'm drowning...frankly, I think it's doubtful!

On another note: I want to stay here! Would someone like to give me the money to fly over there and stay! Hell, I'll live there. Or how about instead I just have the same house, boyfriend, puppy, and cats I have now...just no part time job?? That would be super, thanks!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Farm Fresh Delivery

So, a couple weeks ago I was perusing some of the food blogs I read on a regular basis and I noticed a review/giveaway on wine me, dine me. Julie at wine me, dine me was reviewing Farm Fresh Delivery, a company that offers to-your-door delivery of local/organic produce and groceries. Farm Fresh services Indianapolis and Cincinnati and offers a variety of fresh produce standing orders. The smallest bin they offer of fruits and vegetables is $25, but you must spend at least $35 to get free delivery. I first heard about Farm Fresh on Pasta Queen, and I've been intrigued by the concept ever since. Basically you order a bin, there's small ($35), medium ($42) and large ($49), as well as a just "fruit bin" ($42) and the fruit/veggies/groceries bin ($25), then you decide whether you want an "every week" standing order or an "every other week" standing order. Then they deliver it! The other cool thing is, what's in the bins is based on what is fresh/ripe at that time, but let's say you're bin is supposed to come with beets in it, but you hate beets (like Antoine and I)...well, that's an easy fix!! You can adjust your order starting the Thursday before it arrives. So, that way you can work your bin around your own personal tastes and even around specific recipes that you want to use!

Anyway, back to wine me, dine me's review/giveway! So, when I saw that Julie was giving away a free one-time-only small fruits and veggies bin (which is perfect for 2-3 people and normally costs $35) I immediately entered myself in by leaving a comment! Then I emailed Antoine to tell him that he HAD to enter as well, which he did! And to my surprise, a little more than a week later I was at work and I got a phone call from Antoine! He had just found out that he'd actually won the Farm Fresh giveway, just a day before his birthday (perfect timing)! Pretty neat, huh!?

So, our Farm Fresh delivery is supposed to come sometime tomorrow! We've already altered the order to fit our tastes...i.e. no tomatoes or beets and we subbed peaches for nectarines! And since we have a freezer full of blueberries, we opted for bananas instead! We are super excited to get our delivery and we plan to use several items for dinner tomorrow, provided it arrives in time! I'll report back with a review of Farm Fresh and our free produce Thursday!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Is It Really Monday Already??

I haven't a clue where the weekend went to, but that's usually what happens with good weekends...they disappear! As the Cincinnati folks know it was an incredibly hot and muggy weekend, so naturally I went outside as little as possible and Antoine and ran the A/C non-stop (I'm not looking forward to that energy bill!).

Saturday I was lazy, lazy, lazy! I snuggled up on the couch with my dear little Cheese and watched movies in my was AMAZING!! I watched Chloe, with Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson and Amanda Seyfried. Not totally what I was expecting, but good nonetheless! Then I watched, yet again, Julie and Julia. Even though I find Amy Adams completely annoying in it and I can't stand her haircut...I adore Meryl Streep as Julia Childs! It's fantastic! Then I started watching Greenberg, but fell asleep. It was kind of boring, but the reason I fell asleep was 100% Cheese-man related...since he woke me up at 5am that morning and I never went back to sleep! Then after my little nap with Cheese, Antoine got home from his part time job and then it was time for me to get ready for Sbux. By the way, I hate days when we have opposite sucks! But when I came home from Sbux I found this...

Cheese and Antoine curled up together on the couch! That's just too cute!

Sunday morning Antoine made breakfast...bacon, egg and cheese biscuits!

With homemade biscuits (made with love by Antoine)...SO delicious!!

Then we went on a whirlwind adventure of running errands that we've been meaning to do for weeks! Then we came home...overheated...and did some stuff around the house and enjoyed a yummy steak dinner! All in all, it was an excellent weekend, even though it went way too fast! Anyway, here's a couple more pictures I snapped this weekend....

Gui is becoming much more brave when it comes to Cheese (here he's about 2 feet away from him)! He's even kind of curious about Cheese, aka that strange little hyper/sleepy puppy!

Awe, such a sad little face! But don't be fooled, he always looks like this, even when he's wagging his tail and playing!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy Friday!

It's been a long couple of days! Lots of working, running around, puppy watching, and not sleeping going I'm really looking forward to 4:30pm, when I can go home, put on my pajamas and just curl up on the couch with Antoine and a, hopefully, exhausted puppy!

A Cheese Update:

He's a complete character!

And so freaking adorable...everywhere we go he's like a little attention hog! It's astonishing how strangers will come up to you and ask to hold your dog. One lady asked if she could hold him, then proceeded to kiss and hug him until his snout was littered with bright pink lipstick! Crazy!!

Today Antoine is taking Cheese babysitting with him! Every Friday Antoine works from home (well, actually his parents house) and babysits his two year old nephew while his brother and mom are at work. This will be the second time (the first time was on Antoine's birthday) Cheese and said two year old have interacted together and I'm expecting to see a very worn out puppy when I get home tonight! After their first encounter Cheese was out for the count after only an hour of rowdy, energetic playtime with the two year old. This time...he might just sleep for days!

The cats are finally warming up to the Cheese-man...kind of! They've all emerged from the hiding places. I swear, Buddy spent two full days hiding upstairs, and when Cheese was upstairs he'd immediate scurry downstairs! Not such a tough guy now, are you Buddy!? Missy, on the other hand, has been the only brave one...she shows practically no fear when it comes to Cheese and will even walk right up to him!

Wednesday was, as you may know, Antoine's birthday. I was supposed to close at Sbux Tuesday night and then Antoine and I were supposed to have the whole day together free from work...well, things changed. My favorite morning barista at Sbux, Amy, was horribly sick (like Viral Meningitis-esque sick) and couldn't work her opening shift Wednesday morning. Our store manager, who I happened to be closing with Tuesday night, spent most of the night calling around trying to find somebody to cover her shift (which started at 5am). When no one said they could do it, I stepped forward I said I'd do it. Insane, I know! But it's Amy, and I adore Amy! And she's a total sweetheart and I know she'd do it for me! So, I got out of Sbux around 11:30pm...home around midnight...and finally got to bed around 1:30am. Next thing I know, it's 4am and my alarm is going off.

I ended up working for three hours, dragging my feet and my fuzzy, sleep-deprived brain around the store and then I went to the grocery store to get the fixings for Antoine's special birthday breakfast. I spent the rest of the morning washing dishes and making breakfast (pancakes with lemon-blueberry topping and whipped cream and a side of bacon), while trying to keep Cheese occupied! Breakfast was a success! We later ran some errands, visited my sister at her work so she could see the Cheese, and then went to Antoine's parents for a little early birthday dinner. It was a nice day, but by the end of it I was exhausted.

Yesterday was pretty much the same...too much work and not enough sleep...followed by a migraine. Not fun! Having a migraine is not fun in itself, but then having one while trying to make lattes and frappachinos...that's just hell right there! But it all worked in the end, by the time 9:30pm rolled around my migraine had dulled and I only had two hours left at Sbux. And when I got home I was greeted by an excited puppy and a couple little surprises from Antoine. First, I walked in the front door, and after said puppy greeting, I immediately noticed that the living room was filled with folded clean clothes! I'd been meaning to do laundry forever now, and Antoine had decided to take on a laundry exodus of extraordinary proportions! And as if that wasn't sweet enough...I walk into the kitchen to find these...

[photo courtesy of Pioneer Woman]

I had seen these delicious "Muffins that taste like donuts" on Pioneer Woman and I immediately showed them to Antoine and told him I wanted to make them sometime! But, Antoine, being the sweet guy he is and knowing I wasn't feeling well, decided he'd do the work for me! How freaking amazing is that?!? Answer: pretty flippin' amazing! And the verdict...delicious! Oh how I love cinnamon and sugar together! I just had one for breakfast...they really do taste kind of like donuts! I'd highly recommend giving the recipe a try!

Anyway, I hope you folks have a wonderful Friday and a killer weekend! I'll see you next week...when I'm hopefully a little more rested!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

They Say It's Your Birthday!

Today is this guy's birthday....


Since it's his special day we both have the day off together (from all four jobs!)! I'm planning on making a special birthday breakfast for the Antoine (involving some of blueberries we picked a couple weeks ago)! Then we will probably spend some quality time with Cheese before heading over to Antoine's parents house for a late lunch! If the weather isn't as icky as it's supposed to be, maybe we'll even take Cheese for a walk! We shall have to see! I'm just excited to have the day off with the guy I'm crazy about!

I'm a lucky girl...that's for sure!

Have a great Wednesday everyone! I surely will!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


We got a puppy! He's a nearly 10 week old basset hound named Cheese! And so far we're crazy about him! I'll post more about him later (and Antoine's birthday which is tomorrow and will most assuredly involve fun with the Cheese!), but for right now I leave you with this...

My favorite things about Cheese so far:

Those eyes!

He's forever sleepy!

Those wrinkles! And those enormous paws!

Those big ears that he just can't stop stepping on!

How easily distracted he is by a toy!

How he has little spurts of energy and then it's gone in a flash and he just plops down on the floor!

That could you not love it!?

Sidenote: Getting Cheese means I get to mark off another thing (#4) on my Life List!

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Friday First

I'm going to try out something new on here...a restaurant review! I know, I're thinking, "this isn't a food blog you silly goose" (well, maybe you didn't include the "silly goose" part)!! Yes, I know this isn't a food blog, but I love reading food blogs and I love food. And this is my blog and I can do whatever I there! [Insert raspberry noises and hands mimicking Bullwinkle antlers here.]

For those of you who don't know, Antoine is a little bit of deal hunter! Antoine LOVES a good deal! I'm a bargain shopper as much as the next person, but the difference between Antoine and I is that he'll search out bargains. He checks sites like slickdeals and Half Price Cincy multiple times a day searching for a great deal! When it comes to buying regular household items, clothes or Christmas/birthday presents he'll hunt for a deal! He'll go from store to store searching for the best price! It drives me nuts, but I love that about him! Anyway, recently he found this sweet deal on for a $10 gift certificate to Soup Du Jour in West Chester for $5!

I had heard about Soup Du Jour a couple months ago, however, at this time I can't for the life of me remember where I read about it! Oh well. I had been eager to try a place that specialized in soup, since Cincinnati seems to be lacking in the soup department, or at least in places that focus primarily on soup instead of treating it as an afterthought. When you visit their website you see that Soup Du Jour's soups are ever-changing. The list, at least during the warmer summer months, consists of both hot soups and cold soups, such as a strawberry soup and a gazpacho. A few of their soups are even gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan! They also have a selection of sandwiches and salad, which can easily be paired with soup in one of their five combo meals.

We decided to buy up two $10 gift certificates since they were such a great deal at 50% off! And then that night we made our way up to West Chester. Now, West Chester isn't a normal hangout for us, in fact, we've only ever gone there to go to Ikea, but we were itching for some tasty soup and we had a gift certificate burning a hole in our pockets! When we arrived for dinner there were already a couple of people in the cafe, which we took as a good sign! The restaurant is set up similar to Panera, where you go up to a counter and place your order. However, at Soup Du Jour they bring your meal out to your table.

Antoine and I both decided to get a #4 combo, aka a Pick Two. You can pick any 8oz bowl of soup and either a half sandwich or a half salad, however to get the crab bisque it is an additional $1 and it's a $.50 extra for a house, cobb or chef salad. All the combos come with a 20oz fountain drink (and they have Gold Peak iced tea, which made me very happy!) and a piece of either cornbread or beer bread.

Antoine went for the crab bisque and a half Italian panini (sans tomato and pepperocini) with beer bread. I didn't care for the crab bisque, it had a strange aftertaste to me. Antoine said it was okay, but I could tell he wasn't crazy about it! He noted that there really weren't any chunks of crab in the soup and that's usually the mark of a really good bisque (at least to him)! I was a little worried about the "panini" since it came on a flour tortilla and looked more like an Italian quesadilla! But I was surprised, it was actually quite tasty! Antoine really enjoyed it! The beer bread was okay, but a little too rubbery.

I opted for the loaded baked potato soup and half a grilled cheese sandwich with cornbread. I must say I was very disappointed with my meal...well, mainly the soup! It was WAY too salty (and super thick)! And I'm a person who loves salt, but I could only manage about 5 or 6 spoonfuls and then I forfeited the rest to Antoine. The grilled cheese was good, but nothing out of the ordinary (don't try comparing it to Melt's three cheese will lose miserably!) The cornbread was very tasty and made Antoine wish he would have gotten that instead of the beer bread!

Overall, our experience at Soup Du Jour kind of bummed me out a little! I was so looking forward to some really delicious soup...something similar to what I imagined the Soup Nazi's soup to be like from Seinfeld, but I was let down. Well, at least we only spent $10 for dinner, thanks to! However, we still have one more gift certificate left to use and I can't say that I'm very eager to go back! Although, I'm trying to remain hopeful and assume that maybe they were just having an off night!? We'll see!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Etsy Fun: Fancy Creatures

I have a fantastically fun Etsy post just for you on this fine Thursday morning! I came across these gems while perusing a fellow blogger's site. Megan (said blogger) used these wicked wildlife illustrations by Berkley Illustration! to decorate her baby's nursery. I can't help but love them, I mean, what's not to love about a T-rex in a cowboy costume, right?!?

Available in 5x7 and 8x10 (11x14 available upon request)

Available in 5x7 and 8x10

Available in 5x7, 8x10 and 11x14

Available in 5x7 and 8x10 (with limited edition background color)...I heart barn owls!

Available in 5x7 and 8x10 (11x14 available upon request)

Available in 5x7 and 8x10 (11x14 available upon request)

Available in 5x7, 8x10 and 11x14

Available in 5x7 and 8x10 (11x14 available upon request)...this one reminds me of Richie from the Royal Tenenbaums for some reason?!

Available in 5x7 and 8x10...can we say, classy cheetah pirate?

A customizable 4-pack of buttons for only $5!

Berkley offers these sweet animal portraits in 5x7 ($10), 8x10 ($18), and 11x14 ($35). They come in a protective plastic sleeve and ready to stick in a frame! I really wish I had a friend who was expecting because these would be so adorable in a little kid's room! Or in a small dining room? Or in a kitchen...blast, I wish we had wall space in our kitchen! These animal portraits are also available as buttons, magnets, bottle openers and banners. Berkely Illustrations! also offers animal/creatures series, including zombies, superheros, abominable snowpeople and oceanic animals. You should definitely check them out!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

One Year Old

Now, being the crazy cat lady that I am and embracing that as I do, it is only natural that I devote an entire post to my cat's "birthday". So brace yourself folks...

About ten months ago Antoine and I, having just recently bought our first house, decided to adopt this adorable little kitten I found on His name was Gordon, he was oh so fluffy and I immediately fell in love with him. I wasn't having the name Gordon (really, who names a cat Gordon?) so we decided to call him Guillermo (I know, you're thinking "who names a cat Guillermo!?" Me, that's who!) or Gui, pronounce like "Gee", for short.

Here's a picture of Gui from the first night we brought him home!

He's really quite a sweet kitty, he was just playful as a tiny kitten!

Guillermo immediately became our little baby kitty! We adored him (and still do). He would follow us around the house, fake meowing because when he was little he couldn't meow so he'd open his mouth and nothing would come out!. It was incredibly cute! We decided that he was probably born in mid-July, so we declared that July 14th was his birthday...a week before Antoine's birthday and a week after my friend Amanda's cat's birthday (she also a crazy cat lady). So, today is his first birthday...and in that year he has grown so freaking much! Here's what he looked like when he was about 3 months old...

Look how tiny he is!!

Now he is a big mammoth of a cat! All fur and chub with stubby legs! And ever so clumsy!

Antoine calls him his "big guy" and there's a reason for it...he's huge! Gui has out grown both of our adult cats, Buddy and Missy. And we think/fear that he's still growing...

Look at that face, how could you not be crazy about him! And he's so soft!

I just don't understand how some people don't like cats! They're just so interesting and unique!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Burritos, Blueberries and Spiked Punch...Oh My!

I hope everyone had a fun/relaxing weekend. Sorry it took me so long to post, I wasn't feeling too peachy brain wasn't up for posting. Anyway, onto the weekend which was fun and not entirely relaxing.

Friday night Antoine and I went to Habits Cafe. We've been there a number of times, for food, drinks and pool. I used to have an apartment in Oakley, so Habits was a convenient and tasty place to get a burger or a sandwich and maybe play a game of pool. A couple years ago I made the mistake of taking my mom and dad there when they were in town visiting. My dad got the fish and chips...and he's been hooked ever since! He loves their fish and chips and now every time they come into town he's begging to go to the "fish and chips place", as he calls it. Anyway, I've been to Habits a billion times (not really, but I've been there a lot), but I'd never had one of their burritos! It's a pub...what are they doing serving burritos anyway? They can't be that good, right? WRONG! (Sidenote: I've recently discovered that sometimes the menu items that seem really out of place at a pub are often the best items they have. For instance, Molly Malones in Pleasant Ridge makes a mean calzone...and they're an Irish pub!) After reading Veggie Option's recent post on Habits and their burritos I just had to give it a try! I decided to try the Fajita burrito with chicken (no sour cream, add lettuce). It was so delicious! Unlike many fast food burritos nowadays where you feel like you've got a rock in your stomach and you want to die after eating one, this burrito was super filling yet light! It didn't have rice like the burritos you find at Chipotle or Qdoba, making it far less dense and overwhelming. And it was filled with fresh tasty ingredients! Plus you get your choice of side item and some chips along with your burrito (I opted for the sweet potato fries, which are always delicious)! The only downside is that ever since Friday I've been craving another burrito!! Perhaps I can convince Antoine into going to Habits again this week!? Mmm!

Saturday I had to work at Sbux for a couple hours in the early morning, which wasn't that bad. Then Antoine, my sister and I went to Rouster's Apple House in Milford to go blueberry picking. I love blueberries and I love blueberry picking! It's so much easier than raspberry picking where you generally have to crouch down low to find berries, while also trying to stay clear of the numerous prickly thorns! In blueberry picking there are no thorns and at Rouster's most of their blueberry bushes are quite tall, so they are convenient for all sizes of people. Antoine and I ended up picking almost 10 pounds of blueberries! We're planning to freeze most of them and save them for future baking endeavors.

Later that night we went over to my sister and bro-in-laws house for a little barbecue party! Seeing as how we now had so many blueberries, we decided it was fitting to make some blueberry cobbler for the party. It was a recipe we had never used before but it went over very well, and we ended up taking home an empty pan! Since the party was byob...I decided to make a little spiked punch with some of the leftover liquor we had at home (and no, we're not boozers...that's why we always have random half empty bottles!). Anyway, I've never made spiked punch before so I was a little nervous that it might taste like crap, especially since I wasn't using a recipe or anything. We had some strawberry vodka and light rum chilling in our fridge, so while we were at the grocery store I picked up a can of concentrated fruit punch and a can of pink lemonade. Once we got to the party I threw everything together and voila...

I was very pleased with how tasty (and easy) this punch was! I would definitely make it again!

Recipe for spiked punch:

1 can of fruit punch concentrate
1 can of pink lemonade concentrate
1 can of Smirnoff strawberry vodka (or any fruity vodka you prefer)
1/2 can of Bicardi light rum
4 1/2 cans of water
frozen/fresh berries

In a relatively large pitcher mix together the punch and lemonade concentrate. Using the concentrate can add the vodka, rum and water. Stir until dissolved. Then garnish with fresh/frozen berries and serve. (Feel free to adjust the amount of alcohol to taste. With this ratio I found that the punch didn't have an overwhelming alcohol taste, yet was quite potent).

I will admit to you and only you, my fair readers, that I was the person who primarily reaped the benefits of this yummy punch. I couldn't stop myself, it was so tasty! Although, my sister-friend (that's what I call my big sis) had enjoyed a couple of glasses (along with some whiskey slushes) by the end of the night, thus leaving her a little slightly sloshed! My brother-in-law grilled up some mighty tasty burgers (and veggie burgers for the veg-heads among us) and we sat around enjoying the good company of friends and some delicious mac 'n cheese from BBQ Revue (brought by another guest)...YUM! I even played my first game of cornhole! I know, it's shocking that I've never played before seeing as how it is a Cincinnati tradition. I just never really had the opportunity before now. And now I know, it was probably for the best that I had never played before. I stink at cornhole! I could blame it on the fact that I was slightly tipsy while playing...but I think everyone is at least a little inebriated when they play cornhole! No, I chalk it up to a complete lack of skill and depth perception (ex. I chucked a couple of bags into the neighbor's yard)! But somehow Antoine and I still managed to win against my best bud Amanda and her boyfriend Adam. Obviously our win was all thanks to Antoine (who used to play baseball in junior high and high school). Even with me lodging cornhole bags at him (and at Adam for that matter) Antoine was able to get quite a few bags in the hole and on the board. Impressive, I know!

Also, just before the party I attempted to get a picture of Antoine and I since we were looking kind of cute! Instead, I got this...

When I looked at the camera, Antoine got such a kick out of seeing my reaction to this picture!

Then I managed to snag a relatively good one (without any hideous expressions!)

Sunday was kind of a wind down day from the fun of Saturday! Antoine had to work a mid shift at his part time job and then I closed at Sbux. But Antoine was super sweet and brought me my favorite salad from Dewey's Pizza for dinner, which made my night! All in all, it was a pretty successful weekend!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Happy Trees and Happy Memories

Last night, as Antoine and I were getting ready for bed, Antoine was flipping through the channels trying to find something to watch for a couple minutes before we fell asleep. As he was passing through the public television stations I saw a familiar face and I practically screamed, "WAIT!!!.........It's Bob Ross!".

I adore Bob Ross! To me he's the epitome of awesome! But I am biased...I basically grew up with him. When I was little I would spend most of my summers with my grandparents (my mom's parents). They lived about an hour away from us in Elyria, Ohio...where I was born and where my mother happened to work at the time! Between the ages of probably four and ten I spent countless hours at my grandparents. My days were filled with old people cereal for breakfast (raisin bran, total, mini wheats), Tang, the Price is Right, Days of Our Lives, Swimming at their development's pool, learning how to make pancakes or pepper soup, painting sea gulls with watercolors, learning to cross-stitch or crochet, and so much more! Sometimes we'd go meet a friend or two of theirs at Farmer Boy; it was the type of restaurant that screamed "elderly people welcome", but they had grilled cheese, so I was happy. About once a week we'd even go to the local flea market, which back then was still pretty nice! And we'd, of course, always watch Bob Ross paint his "happy trees" and "quiet mountains".

It's this day I have a special place in my heart for Tang, Bob Barker, flea markets, watered down onion soup from Farmer Boy, making grilled cheese sandwiches with a dash of garlic salt, Bob Ross and all those other things I mentioned above. I look back at those summers as the best summers of my life. I think about how much I learned from my grandparents, how much I grew, and how much those summers shaped who I am today. Thanks to my grandma I know how to make the perfect pancakes and crochet an afghan. And whenever I see a piece of cross-stitch or one of those claw crane machines filled with stuffed animals to try win I think of my grandpa. And every time I watch Bob Ross nowadays I'm reminded of those summers and the wonderful things my grandparents introduced me to. But most of all, Bob Ross' quiet, peaceful, and happy demeanor and his love for painting and creative things makes me think of my grandma! She is one of the most special and caring people I've ever known and I am forever indebted to her and the knowledge and wisdom she shared with me when I was growing up!!

Anyway, back to last night and watching Bob Ross. There's just something about him that makes you feel so happy...

Maybe it's the way he transforms a blank canvas into a beautiful landscape, all the while urging you to try and forever encouraging his viewers!? Or maybe it's the afro!?

Maybe it's his propensity for compassion (he was known for taking in sick/wild animals and nursing them back to health) and his ability to view life in a positive and exciting way!?

It's those things, and so much more, that make Bob Ross amazing! It's his little phrases like "happy clouds" and "quiet trees". His positive attitude that states there are no mistakes just "happy accidents". No wonder the guys on Peep Show (my favorite UK tv show that known for being rather raunchy and slightly crude) refer to him as "God". On his tv show, and in his life, he was the ideal human being...quiet, friendly, kind, compassionate, peaceful, creative, humble and entertaining. Plus, that fro is awesome!!

So, happy Friday folks! I hope you a fantastic day and a relaxing/exciting weekend!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Clusterf#@k of a July 4th

**Please excuse the lateness of my July 4th post...I've been busy working, working some more, forgetting my camera at home (3 days in a row) and working!

I've never been much of an Independence day person. Now, don't get me wrong...I like my independence as much as the next person and I'm all about celebrating it (and getting a paid day off from work), but growing up my family never got too excited about July 4th. Sure, maybe we'd go to a relative's house for a cookout or something, but there were never any annual predetermined plans. I've really never been to a July 4th parade (which I'm totally okay with considering my aversion to crowds). And while I enjoy watching fireworks, we were not one of those families that went out, bought mass amounts of fireworks, and risked our life, limbs, and a possible fire just for some pretty lights. Antoine, on the other hand, grew up in that kind of family. When he was younger they would get fireworks and he and his brother would set them off. It's a normal American family tradition...that scares the everlovin' crap out of me!!

So, it's not surprising that every year Antoine suggests that we go buy some fireworks to shoot off and I immediately start shaking my head. Then, after he continues to talk about how it would be "so much fun" to get fireworks, I begin my rant of how fireworks are not safe and I happen to like his hands and face and I don't want them to be blown off! For your information, this hatred of fireworks most likely stems from my overprotective and fearful mother who probably said the exact same words to my father when I was little and he suggested getting fireworks! Oh god...I've become my mother!!! AHHHHH! [please remain patient while the author has a minor panic attack] ...........................Okay...I...think....I'm....ok...AHHHHHHHH!

So, I hate fireworks...well, at least the ones that you buy in the store that cause people to burn their limbs/face off every 4th of July. The other kind, the semi-safe kind that go off at baseball games, the kind that professionals do...I'm ok with those! Hell, they're pretty. And sure, they're still dangerous, but not to me or anyone I love!!

I know, I'm such the party pooper! But I'm not completely devoid of fun...I let Antoine get sparklers!! So that's what our 4th consisted of...a vagrant-like day roaming around Cincinnati trying to decide what to do, Antoine constantly suggesting getting firework, me continuously refuting that idea and in the end, parking our car in a local Norwood business park to watch the neighborhood fireworks and then going back home to act like 7 year olds with our sparklers! Good times.

I like how it looks like Antoine is getting punched in the face by a sparkler, when really he's just making a weird face for no apparent reason!

There was some mention of Top Gun and then he started doing this! He's special!

Notice how the sparklers are at a safe distance from my hair and face!

This is about as wild and crazy as I get on July 4th! Baby steps steps!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Pictoral Math Equation

A generous helping of puppy chow (that Antoine made) for breakfast


An iced venti french vanilla latte (that's 3 shots of espresso and a whole lotta sugar folks)


Another small handful of puppy chow (for a pre-lunch snack)


A good night's sleep (I worked at sbux last night)


The usual 6:15am start to the day



Sage advise from a woman who's learned the hard way...beware of sugar my friends! It tastes delicious, but, in the end, it will only kick you in the ass!!

Oh, and happy Wednesday that feels like Tuesday!! We're one day closer to the weekend my lovelies (see, the sugar has seeped into my brain and I'm starting to call you by ridiculous names...BEWARE)!!