Sunday, December 5, 2010

Not as bad as the Griswolds....

Every year I look forward to coming up with a cool idea for our Christmas Card picture. Our dogs are pretty good at posing so they usually get roped it to the picture too. In past years I have handmade all the cards we send out but I just don't have the time this year. I am going to use Shutterfly instead!
Its a hassle enough to just get Jeremy out for 10 minutes to do the pictures and with all other holiday stuff this year I decided to let someone else do the designing for me. ( I know, a rarity!) I am usually too picky, wanting to move something a little here or adjust colors there. But there are a ton of cute cards on here.
This one I like but I have to do a horizontal layout because of the way I took our picture. I can't show you which one I picked out but I am excited.
I also like these calendars. A friend of mine made them for her family and I might have to use that idea as well. Very cute!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Halloween Pups

Somoa likes to chase squirrels so she decided to go incognito.

I wanted Rosco to be a banana split but the costume had a ton of pink on he was a mounted moose head.

Isn't she a cutie?

Believe it or not these guys kept these on all through, I didn't take them trick-or-treating. We passed out candy and they greeted all the kids. Rosco was often mistaken for a reindeer and Somoa got called a dolphin once...:)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

House Week 8

Okay, this is really really late, like three weeks I think. Last week Neil and Michelle only went up, the week before that I wasn't able to go, so yeah....three weeks ago!

Remember that weird trap door that is the access to the crawl space? Here it is tiled with handles for lifting.The handles had to be flush so the fridge could roll over it.

Front entry tile so you don't get the carpet muddy when you come in!

Pulls on the cabinets in the kitchen.

Front porch, fully equipped with a swing! I got this for a deal off Craigs List. (the new columns went up the next week)

New privacy fence

New garage door and remaining siding. (This got painted last week)

Unfortunately I do not have final pictures yet. Carpet is going in this week and we are having a block party on Saturday. We will be inviting the neighborhood, church, and anyone else who is interested. Come by, have a hot dog and see the end results! If you can't or aren't in the area, I will post final pictures after the block party.

Crock Pot Week-Meal Plan

This week I wanted easy. I didn't have a lot of time in the evening so I wanted to come home to a mostly already cooked meal. So far, so good. I do have a disclaimer though....these are not meals for company. Since they are crock-pot...they don't look so pretty. But they taste pretty darn good, and that's all that really mattered to us!

Meal #1-Lasagna
I highly recommend seasoning this pretty well. I didn't add much seasoning and it needed a bit more. It was fine with a little salt but definitely season. Oh, and this really isn't pretty but still yummy. I also used frozen chopped spinach (its cheaper). Just be sure to defrost and squeeze the water out of it.

Meal #2-Enchilada Bake
This is up for tonight so I can't tell you much yet, except to say there will not be black olives in mine. Yuck! We will garnish with cilantro, salsa, and sour cream.

Meal #3-Creamy Beef over Noodles
This just looks like comfort food to me. It will be our Wednesday so I can't tell you yet what I think. I might have to add some veggies on the side though.

Meal #4-Chick Fil A
Supporting my sis and her family for a fundraiser night

Meal #5-Gumbo
Now this is majorly lacking in the spice department so you will want to spice it up if you like traditional Gumbo. I will be.

These all come from a really cool gal who decided to use her crock-pot every day of 2008. She has since written a cookbook. Most of her recipes are on her website, but if you are like me, you just like to have the actual cookbook....and its very inexpensive. She usually does a "verdict" section where she tells you if her husband and kids liked the meal. Very helpful. Also, keep in mind that most of her meals are pretty low on the spice level for her kids, so if you love spicy stuff like me, you will have to add that on your own. Oh, and a bonus....they are all Gluten free!

Friday, October 15, 2010

MELTing over this restaurant!

Last night I finally got to go to dinner with one of my former co-workers and friends Nicole. We hadn't seen each other since the spring and that was way too long! We considered about a hundred restaurants before settling on MELT in Northside. I have wanted to try this place for a while as I had heard many good things. Let me just say......THEY ARE ALL TRUE! It is really worth a trip....especially if you are gluten free. Yes, its a sandwich shop (get it? MELTed sandwiches) but they offer gluten free bread. They also offer many vegan and vegetarian options. But don't let that deter the meat eaters out there. They had some quite tasty looking sammies with Roast Beef and other carnivorous options as well.
I wish I had taken pictures (not sure what I was thinking) but I didn't. :( Next time I definitely will. I ordered the:

Tuscan Chicken    $8.50
pesto, caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes, chicken and romaine melted on focaccia

Yum-yum! Of course, mine wasn't on focaccia. I also got a side and chose the Rosemary Roasted Red Potatoes. I don't know what was on these things (besides rosemary of course) but they were scrumptious!
Oh, and when I ordered I noticed these beautiful little Flourless Chocolate Tortes they had in a display case. Yes sir, I will take one of those as well! If you have never had Flourless Chocolate Cake please please go try some this weekend. It was around long before us GF people were looking for good desserts, but man oh man, its the best! Especially with a couple of fresh raspberries on top like was served to us. 
They have an adorable setup with only about 8 tables and a hand written chalkboard menu

And the couple (I think they are a couple) that was running the place was absolutely adorable. I think she was about 7 months preggo and easily one of the cutest pregnant women I have ever seen. Anyways, you have to go here....shoot, I have to go back here....soon! Its a great little secret (sorta) of Cincy.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

House Update-Week 7

So by now, you know this is the front of the house. Neil and I wanted to keep the very cool original door but it had a broken pane. Josh and Neil fixed it so we are able to keep it! We also put the first bit of color on it!

The bathroom is really super close to being finished. Lighting is in (thanks James), grouting is done, and we even have a fancy granite top! (This was a deal that Neil got...we aren't that crazy to spend that much money!)

More new lighting in the hallway

and on the front porch.

Michelle washing brushes....we do a lot of this,especially at the end of the day, but today was especially chilly. It rained on us and the temps didn't get out of the 60's so we all went home and tried to warm up

Josh and Kelly replicated the old 8" base molding. Once this is painted it will look just like the beautiful stuff in the living room and other rooms.

Bringing in some new appliances

Working on the front of the garage. We had a few panels that were falling apart and really needed to be replaced rather than just painted over.This will be painted to match the rest though.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

House Week 6

Sorry it has taken so long for me to upload these. This week has been crazy! So, last week we really started to see the house change. Jeremy got some mulching done during the week and everyone got exterior painting done on Saturday.

This is the "aerial" view. ( I just felt like climbing a ladder in the yard to take a picture!)

This is close to one of the original views of the house with all the growth. If you go back to the first post you can compare.

Living room painted

Neil and I worked our brains (mostly Neil) to figure out the 45 degree angle tile laying in the bathroom. Oh, and the cabinets went in.

And the kitchen cabinets were installed on Friday, so it is really starting to look like a kitchen!

We actually have space for a dishwasher, stacked washer/dryer, stove and fridge.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Meal Plan-last week of September already!

Sorry these have been MIA! This week promises to be the craziest week I have had in a while. I have something going on every night if not two things and 4 photo shoots this weekend....FOUR! I am thankful, but what was I thinking? :) So, I have some meals planned. I am not sure when I will make them all but here they are:
 (Oh and FYI, this isn't the healthiest week I have put together.....sorry! I will be running a few extra miles and biking with a friend on Thursday so I won't worry too much!)

Day 1-Creamy Tomato Sauce Pasta with Chicken
This is a modification of the Pumpkin recipe from the last post. In all honesty, we never made it. Jeremy said it sounded "weird" and while he has improved 500% on his eating ventures from the early years of our marriage, he just didn't want that one. So I made this up instead.
1 container Marscapone Cheese
1 Can petite diced tomatoes
8 oz penne pasta
1/4 cup heavy cream
fresh grated parmesean
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Italian Seasoning
1 Onion, diced
2 Cloves of garlic, minced

Season both sides of the chicken with S&P and Italian Seasoning. Place in skillet on medium high heat with a drizzle of EVOO in the bottom of the pan. Turn down to medium heat and cook about 5-7 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Remove from pan. Add onions and garlic to pan.
In the meantime, get a pot of salted water boiling to cook pasta.
Okay, back to the pan. Once onions are translucent, add canned tomatoes. Then add Marscapone. I used the cream to thin the sauce back out a bit. Add in a heaping handful of Parmesean. Once pasta is cooked, drain and add to pan. Cube cooked chicken and add to pan. Serve with fresh Parm on top.

Day 2- Chili with Cornbread
I used to make my mom's chili, but have to modify it a bit to make it gluten free now. If you don't share my issues, use French's Chili-O Mix found in the seasoning isle. Its fantastic (minus the gluten part!)
1 lb ground meat (I am using Venison-very lean so no need to drain)
1 onion, diced
1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 can red beans
Spice Mix: 2 tsp Cumin, 2 tsp Chili Powder, 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper, 1 tsp Black Pepper, 1 tsp Coriander, 1 TBSP Cornstarch

Brown meat in skillet. (Drain if necessary) Add all ingredients except the spice mix into the crock pot. (You can also do this on the stove but I would cook the onions with the meat first so they aren't crunchy). Add two cans of water. Sprinkle the spice mix over everything and stir in. Cook on high for 2.5 hours or low for 4 (or until you can't resist the smell!)
I serve this with cheese and sour cream on top and hot sauce. I also make Bob's Red Mill GF Cornbread with the addition of 1 TBSP of sugar.

Day 3- Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
I think I have covered what I do with my Mashed potatoes in here somewhere before but as for the chicken....
Pound boneless skinless breasts to 1/4 thickness. (This is fun for getting aggression out!) Season both sides with s&p and paprika. Coat chicken with GF flour blend. Simply cook in a skillet with EVOO (just to cover the bottom of the pan, we aren't deep frying this stuff). Flip and make sure it cooks through. That is why I pound it thin, so I don't worry about the thick end getting cooked and the thin end getting dry.

Day 4- Roasted Vegetable Minestrone
The only thing I am changing is cooking some venison steaks in the crock pot on low all day and adding that shredded to the soup.

Monday, September 20, 2010

House Update

Jeremy went up today and mulched the newly cut flower beds and watered the new plant material. Bear with us as the pictures were taken with his cell phone camera.

To quote Neil, "Now just to get some grass seeded and get the portapotty outta there!" :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Summer's End

This summer has been a hot and busy one. We haven't used our backyard nearly enough but its been too darn hot! So Friday I came home from work to find Jeremy in the hammock with music going and the dogs enjoying themselves in the grass.

Oh, Somoa? She's really lonely....never gets any attention....

No one at this house loves her ......

And she certainly doesn't get spoiled! :)

Meanwhile, Rosco occupies himself with a stick. I think someone comes at night and soaks our sticks in bacon grease. I can't for the life of me figure out why my dogs love the sticks in our backyard so much. They don't just chew them....they EAT them! I guess its fiber!

Pretty girl!

Crazy boy! (See, another stick crazy face, maybe they are laced with dog crack!)
Mmmmmm. I also have about a hundred pictures with Rosco's tongue somehow positioned out of his mouth. Not sure why....I don't attempt to capture these moments....they just happen.

Yep, this is pretty much how I found him. We were so excited to finally have a Friday that we didn't have something planned that we both just chilled.....then we got really lazy and went out to eat (Los Panchos) and rented a movie. Nice!

Oh, and just for the record, this is what happens when you mess with me! Just kidding!
Actually Jeremy plays softball on Tuesday and Thursday and one of the teams on Tuesday is especially rough and likes to purposely hit up the middle (ie: at the pitcher) Guess what position Jeremy plays!? Yep! He caught a bounce ball off the bat right in the thigh! This is 3 days after the fact. The first day it was swollen to about double the normal size of his thigh! Yikes! Anywho, aside from playing with hockey pads on, I am not sure what is to save you from this so I guess he'll have to deal with it as long as he plays softball.

We are sad to see summer go but pumped about football, hayrides, pumpkins and fresh apples!

Week 5-House Flip Project

This week actually started on Wednesday. Kelly was nice enough to come back out and start our first row of tile in the bathroom while I grouted the kitchen, Jeremy cut in the landscaping beds, and Josh and Neil painted the kitchen ceiling.

Kitchen is grouted! This means we can get cabinets in and start making it look like a kitchen!

Sarah and Caleb came out to help today! I never see this girl without that huge smile on her face!

Kitchen painting

Painting was the word of the day....inside, outside and everywhere inbetween!


and up on ladders!

I was able to finish the shower tile and lay out the floor but we need a few more tiles for the floor.

All the new ceiling fans went up!

More living room painting

New plants in the front! Mulch will be put in on Monday. All of these are very low maintenance and lots are evergreens which means color all year.  We also used mums for color right now!
Side landscaping.
We are really starting to see this come together. As Jeremy and I were leaving today a lady came across the street from another house. She just wanted to tell us how wonderful she thought everything looked. She owns the house across the street as a rental property. We told her why we are doing this and she offered to pray for us and the cause!  Awesome!
Hopefully if you have been following us you can really start to see the house coming together. Please feel free to come up and help in the coming weeks. We will need all the finishing touches!