Friday, April 29, 2011

It's Friday and Cake Pops!

 Happy Friday all!  I made cake pops last night to bring into work for Preservation week today.  Unfortunately, I made them while under the influence of too much wine and a horrible headache (that I am still nursing), so the creation of them wasn't nearly as enjoyable as I hoped.  FYI the purple ones are chocolate and the white are strawberry.



And that's all I got for you!  Forgive me while I shove a giant cup of very strong coffee down my throat, in the hopes that this headache will go away.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Warm Fuzzies

In less than a month Antoine and I will be celebrating our anniversary.  We'll have been together for three full years (and a wonderful three years it has been).  We like to celebrate our anniversaries with a trip.  For the first anniversary, being the crazy (in love) people that we are we went to Jamaica.  Sandals resorts were having massive sales at the time and so we pounced!  It was magical, relaxing and lazy...the perfect first anniversary.  Last year we decided to scale it back a little and went to Louisville for the weekend.  Our trip to Louisville was also my first time camping.  I loved it!  It was relaxing and inexpensive.  So, this year we decided to do it again.

Originally we were thinking about going to Hocking Hills, since it's close and we really enjoyed our family trip there last year.  But then, all of a sudden last week I got this sudden urge to go to the beach.  Now, I'm definitely not what you'd call a "beach fanatic" but I enjoy having my feet in the sand and perusing for shells and beach glass among the surf.  Unfortunately, Ohio is a little too far away from Florida or the Carolinas for a weekend trip.  Plus, this time around we're taking Cheese camping with us so we want to keep the time we spend in the car to a minimum.  So, Michigan popped into my head.  I've never been there.  And you always see those commercials on tv advertising their beaches and whatnot.  "Michigan is the shit...please come and visit us, NOW!" [or something like that]  After a quick pitch to Antoine it was decided...we're going to Michigan, the South Haven/St. Joseph area to be specific.  Not only will this be our first official time taking Cheese camping (he's camped at my parents with us...but that doesn't count), but it'll be his first time experiencing a beach!  A basset hound at the beach...that's bound to be fun!  I foresee much sand caked onto his ears and lake drinking! And much picture taking by yours truly! 

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Big Tease

 I love Spring.  It's probably my second favorite season, after Fall of course.  Everything comes alive.  After months of dormancy and cold you get this taste of color and life.  The sun starts to shine, little green, leafy things start to pop up everywhere and all of a sudden you're whole mood changes.  I love this about Spring.  But the thing I don't love, the thing that drives me bananas about Spring in Ohio is that one minute it's beautiful, green and 70 degrees and then next it's gray, soggy and back down to 45 degrees.  Spring is a big fat tease and it's driving me nuts.  Last week was gorgeous (well, most of it at least).  After months of snow and freezing temperatures, it's like you become a Spring junkie.  It just takes one good taste of Spring and you're hooked; you're ready to steal $40 out of your mom's purse just to bribe the weather man to say it's going to be sunny and a high of 70.  Oh Ohio, why do you have to play with my mind?  I'm ready for bike rides with Antoine and gardening and grilling in the back yard.  Cheese is itching to go to the dog park, to run and play, but it's under water because it won't stop raining. 

Oh well, I guess I just need to be patient.  But the sad thing is, once it stops raining I know that it's only a matter of time until that evil Cincinnati summer is right around the corner.  If you live in Cincy, you know what I'm talking about.  Sticky 90 degree weather that feels like 150 degrees.  Sunburn.  Sweat.  More sunburn.  Bees.  Ugh, Summer.  Sometimes you're nice and fun, other times I think you're trying to kill me!  Please stay away as long as you possibly can.  And Spring, please stop least for a couple more days so we can do some fun stuff outside!  Thank you.

 From our garden.

 Tulips from our flower box.

 Also, in the flower box.

 Gui in the window.

 Spring Grove Cemetery.

 A walk around Xavier/Norwood.

 Cheese on our walk around XU.

Cheese trying to be a cat and look out the window.

Happy Friday all.  I hope you have a lovely weekend, despite all the rain we're supposed to get.  I'm bound to have a lovely weekend and week, considering I recently found out that Antoine won't be flying off to Chicago this coming week!  He gets to work from home all week and I can't wait! 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

They Grow Up So Fast

In less than a month Cheese will be one year old.  That means we've had him for about 10 months now.  Sometimes it doesn't feel like we've had him that long because we are still so enamored of him (can't you tell by my constant mention of him?).  But then other times he feels like such an important and major part of our family unit that I can't imagine a time when we didn't have him in our lives.  He's definitely growing into his Basset Hound-ness.  He grows lazier and lazier by the day.  Yet he still has moments of being a complete puppy.  We love him more and more each day, probably more than a person should love an animal, but oh well.  He's like our four legged baby.

At 3 months old.

At 11 months.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Dancing Tongue

 and the portly fuzz-ball of a cat.  Or a portrait of Guillermo (alternate title).

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Weekend Routine

Ever since we got Cheese last summer he and Antoine have formed quite the little morning routine.  Whereas I will wake up in the wee hours of the morning when Cheese is whining to go outside, go downstairs, take him outside, and then put him back in his crate and go back to bed, that's not the case with Antoine.  When those little whimpers start at four or five in the morning, Antoine will eagerly sleepily (and against his will) stumble downstairs and take Cheese outside.  Then, instead of putting Cheese back in his crate he will plop down on the couch.  Cheese will then pull himself up onto the couch and snuggle up next to Antoine.  The common position is as follows, Antoine sitting up at one end of the couch, hugging one of the gray pillows and Cheese with his front legs hanging over Antoine's leg and his head in Antoine's lap.  When I wake up at 8am or so and I see the empty space next to me in bed I know immediately where Antoine is...downstairs, passed out with his beloved Cheese-ball.

When I make my way downstairs Cheese will immediately pop his head up and start wagging his tail, well it's really more like thumping.  Antoine will remain unconscious.  This weekend I couldn't resist taking some pictures because Cheese was looking particularly adorable and Antoine was OUT and I didn't have the heart to wake him just then.  So, here's a glimpse into this weekend routine and the rough life of one Basset Hound puppy...

*I should note that later, after I was done taking pictures and Antoine had woken up he actually said he had a dream where I was taking pictures of him and Cheese.  Oh,'re too cute.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I Hate You, Monday

It was another one of those weekends that makes you completely despise Mondays.  We enjoyed tea (thanks to my lovely sis), a movie (and popcorn), some Spring shopping, a walk with Cheese, a trip to Findlay, a wonderful brunch and then some good quality time.  Unfortunately it was also a busy weekend and now it is Monday and there's much to be done.  So, until I can offer a proper post here's a picture of the Cheese-man from our walk on Sunday.

I know I'm a little biased, but he's so handsome!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Productive Weekend

It was definitely one of those weekends where I felt like I actually accomplished some things on my to-do list.  Saturday, despite pitiful weather, we managed to get the oil changed on both cars, get some groceries, and do some errand running.  I also managed to print off some pictures for the department that I'd been promising to print for months. Then, after a long day of running around, we relaxed a bit with some Top Chef.

Sunday was a day for gardening (and I've got the sunburn to prove it).  The weather was ideal for anything outdoor related, so we hooked up Cheese outside and tidied up our gardens in the backyard.  I pruned, trimmed, weeded, and raked and then planted wildflowers (fingers crossed that they actually grow) while Antoine worked on prepping our very large veggie garden box.  See, we had built the box and started digging/prepping the area but what with each having two jobs at the time we didn't make much progress!  But this year we are determined to get our veggie garden going.  And I think we are on our way!

Also, this weekend I tried out two new recipes.  First up, I made homemade bagels Saturday morning.  

They turned out alright, some better than others.  The strawberry ones were kind of gross, because I made the mistake of only adding strawberries and not any additional sugar (and sadly I made two of those).  The salt bagel was okay, nothing special.  The cheese bagel was delicious, but unfortunately I only made one and since that's Antoine's favorite kind of bagel he got it!  But I think my favorite was the honey walnut (again, I only made one because I'm not smart).  I'll definitely be experimenting again with this recipe.  I find it awesome that you can make one batch of dough and use that to make any kind of bagel you like!

The next recipe I attempted was a grilled salad with strawberry balsamic reduction.  It sounds and looks fancy, but the best's easy!  And it only has like six ingredients.  I love strawberries and balsamic together, but this might have been the best combo yet!  By reducing the balsamic and cooking the strawberries in it, you're left with a mellow yet flavor packed dressing.  And it's a fairly healthy dressing considering there's no oil in the reduction.  And grilling the romaine lettuce is pure genius.  The recipe makes enough for 4 lucky me, I've got some delicious leftover salad for lunch today.

Overall, it was a pretty great weekend, and I wasn't exactly happy to see Monday come.  Although my body is sore from all that gardening and I've got a giant callus on my hand, it felt so good to be outside and accomplish so much.  I hope you all had productive and/or relaxing weekends!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thursdays are my new Fridays

You know that sense of relief you get when Friday rolls around.  You wake up and you say to yourself, that's it, it's here...only one more day and then it's the weekend.  Like the weekend is some magical thing that only appears every couple centuries and no matter what it's bound to be filled with joy and wonder.  Ever since Antoine started his new job consulting, Thursdays have become my new Fridays.  I wake up and I breathe in a sigh of relief.  Sure, I still have two full days of work ahead of me until the weekend, but it doesn't matter.  When Thursday rolls around I could care less about work, because I know that on Thursday nights I get to pick up Antoine.  It's that same feeling of relief and wonderment that you get with Friday. 

The space between Monday morning when I drop off Antoine at the airport and Thursday night when I pick him back up seems to be getting greater and greater with every week.  Even if my work week goes by quickly, there are still those slow nights when I do nothing but puppy snuggling and watch tv.  Those are the nights that drag and drag.  I've also noticed that when I have a fantastic weekend filled with fun, friends and lots of love, then Monday becomes even harder to face and the time between Monday and Thursday just grows. 

But, today is Thursday!  Only 14 more hours until I get to pick up Antoine from the airport and feel at home again.  I think today is going to be a good day.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Be Kind, Please Rewind

This weekend was one of those wonderful weekends that you want to rewind and put on repeat!  Seriously, not only was the weather gorgeous, particularly on Sunday, but it was just an all around fun/relaxing couple of days. Saturday Antoine and I went to the Red's game.  It was a Christmas present from Antoine's brother, and what a great present...

 The seats were fantastic!  Row N.

They won and we got ice cream, so it was an all around good game.  It was slightly chilly out, but the clouds cleared and it was a beautiful night.

 We went on a little exploration to find my sis and brother-in-law up in the nose-bleed section, but since no one's phone wants to function in the stadium we couldn't find them.  But the view of the city from up there was pretty great.

Then, after the game, my favorite part...the fireworks.  Since it was opening night the Rusty Griswolds were invited to perform a little concert while they were setting up the fireworks and then they also performed during the fireworks show.  It was pretty cool and reminded me of Antoine's and my second date [oh the warm fuzzy feelings].

Another delightful aspect of this weekend was that my HLP was in town visiting!  I love when she visits, it reminds me of the good ole days when we used to go to Xavier and live together.  On Sunday Antoine and I made breakfast for all of us and then Amanda and I went for a walk in Mariemont (our old stomping grounds, at least for a while).  It was so beautiful outside, the trees and flowers were starting to bloom and the sun was warm, but not too warm.  It was perfect weather for strolling along with your best friend, chatting it up.  It was so nice out that we just had to stop by Graeter's for a little ice cream.  Then, after our walk, we ran some errands and then before I knew it she was heading back to Indy.  I started missing her as soon as she walked out the door, and I'm so ready for her to come back and visit again (and Cheese is too...he was quite bummed when she left, they are apparently good buddies now).

After Amanda left [insert sad/depressed expression] Antoine and I ran some errands to prepare for him leaving today for Chicago.  We also stopped by Lowe's to oggle at the flowers and vegetables.  Whenever the weather gets nice it seems like most homeowners get that gardening bug.  I think it's just unavoidable.  Last year our gardening dreams didn't come true, what with working two jobs each, we found very little time to do anything significant with our garden.  But this year we are determined to get it going.  We still plan to plant a raised garden bed full of veggies.  We had built the raised box and even started digging and prepping last year, but this year we bought a little seedling starter kit to help us along.  So last night I planted (in our little seedling starter kit) spinach, carrots, sweet onions, broccoli, sweet peppers and assorted lettuce.  Fingers crossed that they sprout and I don't manage to kill them with my plant killing powers.  We've also got two practically bare flower beds in the backyard that we intend to tackle this year.  The one we intended to load with an assortment of wildflowers and the other (that already has an existing rose bush in it) we plan to fill with roses.  I've got a soft spot for roses because my Grandma always had roses growing in front of her house.  She's got one plant that's probably 30 years old!  While I don't have my Grandma's green thumb, I hope I can keep from killing them!

Now I'm anxious and ready for next weekend so we can hopefully work on the yard/garden some more.  I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!  Happy Monday.