Monday, November 30, 2009

Sexy Monday

I was supposed to post this last week, but I got busy. Heidi Klum walked the runway 6 weeks after giving birth so I decided that made her eligible for Sexy Friday or at least for Courageous Monday (if there was such a thing). I don't care if she is in a corset and feet of foof, 6 weeks after we had Little Miss, I was not runway ready no matter how much material you draped around me. I actually find Seal and Heidi Klum sexy together. Together, they always look so happy and so cuddly. They're seen a lot with their children and always look so happy and attentive. All of those things make a person sexy. Heidi Klum posted photos of their new baby daughter on her website, and she looks absolutely adorable.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours was nice. We made a lot of food early - Cranberry Sauce with Orange Liqueur, roasted potatoes, and crab dip. We were in pretty good shape going into Thanksgiving. I fell a little behind with my cleaning and didn't dust, but everything was presentable. My table setting is the first photo. My new tablecloth and napkins looked nice and autumnal. I always love an excuse to drag out the china (holidays, birthdays, a Tuesday). I used a lot of pieces and serving utensils from my grandma which made me feel really nice.

We hosted my parents this year and had a nice relaxing day. We started with early appetizers of
shrimp cocktail, crab dip and scallops wrapped with bacon. Then, we put the turkey in and hung out and chatted. After a little while, I made the creamed corn while Husband made the stuffing. Husband miscalculated the amount of stuffing and made enough for like 12 people. We have enough stuffing for weeks. Right before the turkey was supposed to be done, I stuck the potatoes in the oven to heat and rolls. Then, the turkey was... still cooking. The turkey took about an hour longer to cook than expected. Around 7PM, dinner was ready! It wasn't late, just later than expected. Little Miss, at that point, had crawled onto the couch, put her head down with her piggy and fell asleep. This only concerned us because she hadn't eaten much all day, but she also hadn't napped all day so she was beat. After all the playing at the table, it was sad she couldn't sit with us. On the other hand, we had a nice dinner with no food on the floor.

After dinner, we were stuffed. So, we split up the pie to eat later (later meaning I may have a piece for breakfast). We chatted for a little while longer and cleaned up. Little Miss finally woke up and wouldn't eat any of the Thanksgiving dinner. So, she just had her weight in dry cereal. It wasn't a battle I wanted to have and, if she had a full belly with something somewhat healthy, I was fine with that. A little after her makeshift dinner, Little Miss led Husband to her room and asked to be put to bed. We said goodnight to my parents and just relaxed. I moved things to make room for our Christmas tree and read a bit of my book while Husband watched the football game. Then, I went to bed so I would be ready to get our tree.

Our post-Thanksgiving tradition is to have brunch and get our Christmas tree so we have a long weekend to decorate.

I hope everyone had a great holiday and gave thanks!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Moroccan Recipe

As I mentioned during the Weekend Update, I made a Moroccan recipe for Movie Night (Casablanca). I made a Moroccan-style Rice Salad. The recipe was created by Cecily Layzell. You can find it here, and I also received permission to post it below. The photo and recipe are lifted from the website. It was a very simple recipe, and I really liked it (I'm a picky eater so I was nervous). I didn't add salt and pepper so people could add their own. My avocado also started to turn so I would probably buy mine the same day I made the recipe again, but I didn't have that luxury last week. Little Miss also ate it (though she didn't like the cilantro).

Moroccan-style Rice Salad Recipe

Serves 4.

Ingredients:
10 oz / 300 g brown rice
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 ripe avocado
14 oz / 400 g tinned, cooked kidney beans
½ red chili
4 sticks celery
1 yellow bell pepper (paprika)
2 oz / 50 g pine nuts
1 medium bunch fresh coriander
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preparation:
1. Cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and leave to cool.
2. Grate the zest of the lemon before slicing it in half and squeezing out the juice. Put both the zest and juice in a large bowl.
3. Cut open the avocado, take out the stone and cut the flesh into small cubes. Scoop these carefully out of the skin and mix with the lemon to prevent discoloration.
4. Wash and drain the kidney beans; deseed and finely chop the chili; and wash and cut the celery and pepper into small cubes.
5. In a dry saucepan over a medium flame, toast the pine nuts until just golden brown, turning frequently. Roughly chop the coriander.
6. Stir the kidney beans, chili, celery, pine nuts and coriander in with the avocado and lemon mix, then stir in the rice.
7. Finally, mix in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
8. Serve immediately at room temperature or chill in the fridge until needed. Also tastes good the next day.

Tip: The recipe uses brown rice, but can easily be made with couscous instead. This typical Moroccan ‘grain’, which is made from the starchy inner part of Durum wheat and is the country’s national dish, usually comes semi-cooked. This means it only needs to be covered with boiling water and left to soften for a few minutes. This will cut down the cooking time considerably. Follow the instructions on the packet for exact amounts and preparation instructions.

The copyright of the article Moroccan-style Rice Salad Recipe in Moroccan Food is owned by Cecily Layzell. Permission to republish Moroccan-style Rice Salad Recipe in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.

Read more:
here

Christmas Photos

Both Sister and I and my mother tried to have a Christmas photo with Nephew and Little Miss. Both of us succeeded in having a professional photographer snap a photo with both kids in the frame. However, I swear the kids are allergic to the photography studio. There was crying, begging, pleading - and that was all done by the adults. Bribery didn't work. So, here are the finished products (above is the photo when Sister and I went and below is my mother's attempt). Both are photos of the photos so the color is a little off or dull, but you can get the gist of them. The one above is growing on me. At least the kids don't look miserable.

Weekend Update - The Big Screen

Last Friday, Little Miss and I hung out at home while Husband worked. She had a bath and tried to stay up to see Husband but did not make it. She had her Minnie ears and Minnie Mouse and watched Choo Choo Express.

On Saturday, we had a good day. Husband woke up early to work again. Little Miss and I ate breakfast. Then, we took a walk to the mall to pick up some Christmas items and grab lunch. She took a good nap. Then, she went with the In-Laws to church and to spend the night. Husband came home from work, and I went to Movie Night. We watched
Casablanca and ate Moroccan food (more on that in a later post).

On Sunday, we had a lazy morning. Then, I picked up Little Miss and went out to my Parents' house. We met with Sister and Nephew. Then, Mom and Sister and I saw
The Blind Side while Dad babysat the kids. We fed the kids, and then I went back home. Little Miss slept very well last night as she always does after spending the day with her cousin.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sexy Friday

I watched Glee last night. So, today's Sexy Friday is inspired by the new show. I happened to watch Dan in Real Life last night and noticed Matthew Morrison was the police officer. It was about time he was on Sexy Friday. Evidently, he was also in Taking Chance, but I don't recognize the character. I prefer him better with his longer hair on Glee (though not too long) over the military cut anyway. After last night, I thought Lea Michele would be a great pairing. Lea Michele's character, Rachel, had a schoolgirl crush on her teacher, Matthew Morrison's character, Will Schuster. It was kind of cute how it all played out.



Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Don't Say You Didn't Get the Memo

Unless you are, Jennifer Beals ...


or wear these ...


you are not allowed to buy or wear legwarmers. Period. You should immediately be turned over into the custody of the Fashion Police if you ever buy these ... See, babies do not fall into either of the top two categories so they do not need legwarmers. Seriously, it is a population of humans who can wear footie pajamas. Why do they need legwarmers? Spend your $14.50 on something better or put your knitting needles to better use and knit warm things for charity.

Maybe this is what happens when children born in the 80's start having children. We children from the 70's wore some pretty horrendous things and you dont' see our children decked out in plaid patchwork.

Weekend Update - Warm Front

On Friday, it was just a quiet night at home. Husband had a night out with his work friends. So, Little Miss and I hung out. I gave her a bath. Then, I ate a pot pie and watched a movie. I went to bed early because I knew I had to get up with Little Miss on Saturday.

On Saturday, Little Miss slept in a little. When she woke up, we hung out. Then, we had breakfast. She got dressed and ate lunch. We all went grocery shopping and then Little Miss took a nice, long nap (as did I). In the evening, she went to church with the In-Laws while Husband and I went to Alexandria to celebrate Brother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law's 30th birthdays. We had dinner at a
nearby Mexican restaurant and then went to their apartment to hang out. Sadly, we went straight to bed as soon as we got home (before midnight).

On Sunday, Husband woke up to start his football routine. I slept but still not sleeping as late as I wanted. I went to pick up Little Miss at the In-Laws and headed out to
the mall to attempt holiday photos with Nephew and Little Miss. It was an adventure, but we got one shot each of them and one mediocre shot of them together. Both kids were great as soon as we left the photo studio. They ran, rode bikes and ran some more. Little Miss went all day without a nap but was in relatively good spirits. My grandmother and grandfather were at my parents' house and spent some time with us all. Then, my parents came home. Sister and I picked up Husband at the Metro, and we all had dinner for Nephew's Gotcha Day. Nephew was adopted 4 years ago even though it seems like yesterday! So, he had cupcakes and received presents. After dessert, we headed for home. Little Miss fell asleep on the way home.

That concluded a busy weekend. The last photo is from Monday. Obviously, Mondays do not have the same effect on Little Miss as they do on the rest of us.



Friday, November 13, 2009

Sexy Friday

Sorry today's Sexy Friday is late! I was working all day. I had the photos ready and everything. So, without further ado, Gaius Charles is up! He played Brian "Smash" Williams in my favorite tv show, Friday Night Lights and had a great send-off last season. I miss his character and his family on the show a lot. I did notice he is in a new movie that, according to IMDB opens this week. Gaius Charles has a sexy body that he shows off in Friday Night Lights, but his smile lights up the screen (well, when his abs aren't stealing the scene). His counterpart is the actress who plays Julie Taylor on Friday Night Lights, Aimee Teegarden. I think she's great. She played sweet in Season 1, bratty in Season 2 and a nice mix of a lot of emotions in Season 3 and, so far, in Season 4. As I was telling Husband the other night, the fight that she has with her on-screen mother, Connie Britton, was so real that you wanted to give them privacy. It was painful to sit and watch. The heartbreaking mother/daughter talk after the parents find out Julie is having sex is also so well done between the two. Plus, I haven't mentioned the show in a couple of weeks so it was time.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Concert Update - Ever the Same

Last night, I left work at 2PM to hang out with a friend. We went to Fair Oaks Mall to get our nails done and have dinner at Chesecake Factory. I got my nails painted Smitten with Mittens, an OPI color. It's a really neat red with a little sparkle to it. After that, we went to Patriot Center to see Rob Thomas with opening acts Carolina Liar and OneRepublic. The opening acts were pretty solid. I'm not a huge fan of either band, but I like them well enough. I thought it was to their benefit that they sounded just like they do, if not better, on the radio and television. Both bands were very musical (in that they played their instruments very well and had some interesting arrangements) which was nice to experience. It's not everyday that you hear an electric cello rock out! The concert was fantastic overall. Both opening acts played the song(s) I knew of theirs. Rob Thomas was fantastic. He played most of my favorites (and I'll let him off the hook for not playing the ballads I love because too many ballads bring the show down). My one complaint is that it was FREEZING in the auditorium. I can't stress how cold it was. A couple of years ago, my friend and I saw James Blunt at an outside venue where it was unseasonably cold. We sat outside in literally freezing weather. It was warmer than the inside concert last night. Still, I was going to see Rob Thomas no matter what the weather. Below is a video clip of his version of Bent, the matchbox twenty song he performed last night. I actually love a lot of his songs simpler or acoustic, and this one is no exception.

Setlist:

Fire on the Mountain
Give Me the Meltdown
Real World '09
Lonely No More

Mockingbird
Sunday Morning, New York City Blue
Streetcorner Symphony
Natural
Getting Late into That's Alright with Carolina Liar
Still Ain't Over You
Ever the Same

Cradlesong
Someday

Something to Be
Little Wonders
Fallin' to Pieces

Her Diamonds
I Am an Illusion

Encore:
Bent

Feel so Bad
Smooth with Zach Filkins (OneRepublic)
This Is How a Heart Breaks

Monday, November 9, 2009

Weekend Update - Where did the weekend go?

This past weekend was fairly quiet. Little Miss spent Friday night with the In-Laws. So, on Friday, Husband and I caught up on all of our recorded television. It was quite a bit. Then, we went to bed early. We're a wild and crazy bunch.

On Saturday, Husband left to golf, and I went to bookclub. We met at
Cafe Deluxe and had a yummy lunch. Then, as it is attached, I had to visit Crate and Barrel and bought a tablecloth for Thanksgiving dinner. I hit Target on the way home to begin my Christmas shopping and pick up a bunch of other items. Then, I met Little Miss and Husband came home. We had a friend as well as Brother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law over for dinner during which time Little Miss wanted some potty time. She didn't actually go, but she likes to just sit and hang out.

On Sunday, Husband woke up very early to golf. Little Miss and I hung out at home and then went to the mall. We mostly went to Macy's where she really wanted the promotional Mickey Mouse, but I said no (which is not to say she won't get it eventually). I broke down and bought a Crockpot, my first. Then, we picked up some treats (lunch and ice cream) and headed home. I would have walked the mall more, but someone needed a nap (ok, two someones). Little Miss took a very long nap and then woke up, had dinner, a bath and went back to bed. We had dinner and then watched the season finale of Mad Men. All in all a good weekend.



Friday, November 6, 2009

Sexy Friday

This Friday is dedicated to Ewan McGregor who co-stars in The Men Who Stare at Goats which opens today as well as Amelia which is currently in theaters. I've seen a handful of his movies, but he never really appears on my radar screen. That said, I think most men look more attractive in black and white for some reason. For his counterpart, I chose his co-star in Moulin Rouge, Nicole Kidman. Up until right now, I had no idea she was the voice of Norma Jean in Happy Feet. I haven't seen the movie, but I watched some of it with Little Miss last night because she loves penguins and music. My favorite Nicole Kidman movie is Dead Calm even though it scared the crap out of me. Good stuff though. Billy Zane was so mean and crazy!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Haircut

I'm weird about my hair. I don't care very much about it. I'm very low maintenance (about my hair anyway). I wash and blow dry. I cut my own bangs (poorly) in between cuts. Then, 2-3 times a year, I get inches cut off. It's usually a spur of the moment decision or whenever my hair starts to drive me nuts. Today, I just woke up wanting shorter hair. Of course, during my morning meeting, my vendor told me he liked my hair today. Nevertheless, brief ego boost aside, I went to the local chain (the fast food of hairdressers) and had them cut it all off. They always ask how I want it styled. I tell them I want it chin-length, with bangs, however way they think will look best. This provides an arra of styles but I've never had a truly bad cut either. Today, the stylist went with a layered bob. I said, fine. Below is the final product. I especially like that she didn't make it into a football helmet and hairspray it to death afterwards. It may not be my best cut, but I'm satisfied enough. Plus, it stays behind my ears which is also nice.

Her Fearful Symmetry

Last night, a friend and I went to Borders to see Audrey Niffenegger. It was a fun night out. I was glad I got to go. The book, Her Fearful Symmetry looks interesting. I know it hasn't been selling very well, but I enjoyed her excerpt she read and look forward to reading it. I was disappointed that there weren't many who showed up for the booksigning, but on the other hand, I was second in line to get my book signed. I feel like writing and reading are really individual activities so it's nice when they can be combined to be social events. I try to go to as many booksignings as I can to support the authors and booksellers. I can't say I see reading this book this month and perhaps next month either. However, I will be reading it. Ghost stories usually scare me, but this seems like a friendly ghost so I'm intrigued. If anybody else has read it, what do you think?

Vote!

Today is Election Day! So, even if it's not what you could consider a major election year for your state, get out and vote! I can't say I was moved by any of the candidates, but I did my civic duty.

Little Miss and I left early this morning to go vote. It's a fairly big election in Virginia. We elect our new governor this year. I get to our polling place to find it's closed. There was a map and directions to new polling locations. So, I turn around and walk back to the correct polling place (which strangely is my original polling place when I moved to the area until they reshuffled us). I voted and got my "I Voted in Arlington" sticker. Little Miss got her "Future Voter" sticker. I would have taken photos, but I left my camera at work by accident. As a treat for my running around (literally as I walked), I went to
Cosi for peppermint hot chocolate.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Weekend Update - Trick or Treat!

On Friday, I have no idea what we did, but it probably involved dinner, television and bed.

On Saturday, I finished my bookclub book (a week early which is an all-new accomplishment for me). I also started reading my next book. I also took a nap on Saturday which was glorious but responsible for putting us back a little in terms of our Halloween schedule. So, we got to
the mall to go Trick or Treating and met up with Sister, Brother-in-Law, and Nephew (also, FYI, Santa shows up in 4 days). It was a mad house as usual. Both kids were super cranky. The three of us stayed later. Little Miss kind of thought her ideal Halloween was going into the stores and picking out clothes as her treat. She did not get any though she almost did. Then, Husband, Little Miss and I went to Champps for dinner. Little Miss ate well and seemed to have a good time. She had a good time at my parents' house as well - probably because it was a small group of people and she got candy. We went late-night grocery shopping on the way home (Little Miss slept in the car while Husband actually went in to grab food) and then got home. Little Miss woke up and wouldn't go back to bed. She was very clingy. I think she was just glad to have some time alone with us.

On Sunday, we adjusted to the end of Daylight Savings Time and were pretty lazy. Little Miss took some time to play and color a little. Also, Little Miss and I did leave the apartment to go shoe shopping (she needed some holiday shoes, and I needed shoes because I've had my eye on this red plaid pair for awhile) and to pick up a few things at the grocery store. We had a relaxing evening and geared up for the work week.