Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday what!?

This is pretty much how I feel today....some of it for good reasons:

#1. I am super busy at work....always a good thing (because it means you have work to do),even if it is because you finished the directed work on time...even early...only to have someone change it 6 hours before it has to be mailed out to the client.

#2. We got a call that we have a showing on our house tomorrow.
       a. This is a VERY good thing
       b. This means I have to finish painting the ceiling in the office....tonight
       c. We need to clean b/c all I did this weekend was pickup and vaccuum. Dusting and mopping on the list        for.....tonight

#3. We are completely out of food at my house and therefore need to make a trip to the grocery store.....tonight

#4 I don't have anything made for dinner add that to the list.

Is anyone seeing a pattern here?
Too much to do after work tonight.....but here's to hoping for a good showing and eager buyers!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sugarcreek MetroPark

Last weekend on one of the warmest days this season, Jeremy, the dogs and I set out for a new to us anyways. While I miss hiking in the smokies, I have found some nice areas around here to go. This was no exception.....

The trails are very nicely marked and there is a lot of water running through the park, which is something I like...the sounds and the sights.

Somoa likes the creek crossings and almost always dips her feet in as she crosses.....Rosco on the other hand usually does everything he can to stay out of the water.

These ducks were quite intriguing...but way too shy of our pups!

This weird knot in this tree made me wonder what it had grown over.
I told Jeremy that I kept getting pictures of him without his eyes b/c he was looking down....not sure this goofy smile is what I had in mind....but then again, it is kinda cute.

This is the osage orange tree tunnel. Apparently back in the 1800's people planted these trees extremely close together to form a sort of fence. They have since grown over the trail and made an absolutely beautiful little tunnel. I want to go back to see this in the spring!

Rosco and Jeremy had to pose on top of this fallen tree. 
Then Jeremy made me pose.....then I decided to never again take a photo with my hair all pulled back like this....I look bald!

This little fuzzy catepillar almost got nixed when Somoa decided to jump down the creek bank and then back up it. I think he was okay when we left.

This was a look down the creek....I am guessing Sugarcreek....since the name of the park and all.
These last two show Rosco and his true love of the water.
Jeremy decided to "take" him out into the creek. I realize that the first photo he kind of looks like he is enjoying splashing through the me, he's not. 
The second photo is more characteristic....

Can someone help me get off this rock?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Clean out the Cupboard Meals

This week I didn't really feel like making a real meal plan....and I had some random items on here we have it. Two recipes (I call them that loosely) that you can hopefully make from leftovers in your fridge and pantry.

The first is what I ended up calling Enchilada Lasagna. 
What you need:
Corn tortillas
1 lb ground beef
large can of refried beans
1/4 onion chopped
can of enchilada sauce
cheese...lots of it

I sauteed the onion and then added the ground beef in a skillet. Add the refried beans.Add a little bit of enchilada sauce. Heat remaining enchilada sauce in a small saucepan. When you have everything cooked in the beef skillet and heated in the enchilada sauce pan assembly goes like this.....#1 Dip corn tortilla in enchilada sauce. #2 Layer 6 tortillas like this in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. #3 Cover with 1/3 of the bean/beef mixture. #4 Cover with cheese. #5 Repeat from step #1 until the pan is full. Then pour remaining enchilada sauce on top. Bake at 375 for about 20-25 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and heated through.
We served ours with mexican rice (which was just instant brown rice cooked and then a can of Rotel added toward the end of cooking time.) and sour cream and fresh cilantro on top.

Recipe #2 Pantry Pasta

This is definitely a variation on the pasta rosa, tomato/cream, alfredo thingy that I love.
Here's the ingredients I used:
1/4 jar of Ragu left in the fridge from making pizzas
1/2 jar of Alfredo sauce left in the fridge from making pizzas
1 can diced tomatoes
3 chicken breasts diced
2 cloves garlic
the end of a block of parmesean
Italian Seasoning
Crushed Red Pepper flake
8 oz pasta swirl (or any other short cut pasta)

Sprinkle chicken with S&P and Italian seasoning and saute in skillet with EVOO. In the meantime, cook pasta according to directions just to al dente. Add minced garlic to chicken. Add canned tomatoes. Add leftover sauces and Red Pepper and 1 tsp of Italian seasoning. (If you had any leftover white wine that would be good here too) Once pasta is finished, drain and add to pan with chicken mixture. Allow to cook for about another 4-5 minutes. The pasta will finish cooking in the sauce and will absorb the flavors. Add shredded parm. Add fresh parsley to the top if you have any. (I did not, so I added some dried).

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pioneer Woman rides into Cincinnati!

Please tell me you know who this is.....if you don't, I'll forgive you, but only this once.
See, this is my kind of celebrity. For the past month or so George Clooney has been shooting a new movie here in Cincinnati and many people are out trying to catch a glimpse of him....not me. I am after this chica!

I found her! In a bookstore in Rookwood! (Okay, she was there for a book signing and I had a line number and was only pretending to be the papparazi hiding behind the kiosk of windchimes....which is why there is so much bluriness in these photos....but still!)

Oh she isn't going to like that shot! Who am I kidding? She isn't reading my blog....but just in case, Ree, sorry about that one!

Not sure why once I got to meet her that I was afraid to touch her....and you can't see the fact that I am totally giddy in this photo. Oh, and, if you catch me wearing this outfit a bunch.....there's a reason. Ree said, "You look really cute! I like your outfit!" Yep, I was pumped! I mean, after all she is the queen of cute style, cooking, photography, and generally making everyday things funny.....not that its my everyday to have cow manure on my porch....but in her world it is, and its hilarious!

And this is my friend Allison, without whom I would have missed this glorious evening. See, even though I read the Pioneer Woman every day, somehow I missed the small detail that she was coming to Cincinnati. Luckily Allison was in the bookstore and saw the promotional banner and since her love for her basset hound Daisy gave her a connection to Ree right away, she was nice enough to get a line letter for me.

So, in case you haven't heard of her/(are living under a rock) check out her website blog....and her cookbook. They are fantastic! And if you hear of her coming within 100 miles of Cincinnati again, please call me to make sure I know!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


 This is a bit different from my regular posts but since I actually work as an Interior Designer for 40 hours a week it seemed fitting to share.
About a month ago the design group from my office took a field trip just north of Dayton to a place called Aileron. Its difficult to explain but is basically a place to work but unwind from the norm. It was created by a man who used to own the Iams pet food line after he sold it and wanted to do something for businesses. We were there taking in the designs.
This is the main lobby (oh and Andrea is going to love me for posting this:) and then if you turn around...
 you see these stairs leading to the lower lobby. The day we went was obviously during the winter and the outside was just a vast sea of snow, but during the rest of the year they have beautiful reflecting pools outside these huge expanses of glass.
 and then this is the lower lobby with wood burning fireplace and all. It was very cozy on a cold day!

This is looking back up the fireplace wall. These are limestone bricks from what I could tell. Very soft to the touch and then inspirational words in place of some of the stone.

These next pictures were from the "dream" room. I would have stayed here all day. Three sides of the room are glass and the whole space is actually cantilevered off the building. (that means there is nothing holding it up like columns or a wall below for you guys that are looking at me like I am smart....I am not, I just went to school for this stuff so I can use big words and sound smart :) All of my large vocabulary relates to architecture.
The carpet is plush, the chairs are plush, the room is designed to feel like a cloud and even these curtains make me want to curl up and never leave. Look at all the fun nubbies!

 There is a wrapping wall (no that's not a technical term but at least I didn't make up a word....just a term!) that is a cloud graphic with a chalkboard for ideas.

 and I loved this ceiling detail

Okay, done with the dream room. This little piece was in a hallway and I loved the idea here. If you look closely, the log looks like it continues right through that pane of glass. In all actuality it is cut but what is neat is that at one point it was one tree but now the part that is outside is weathered by, well, the weather and the part that is inside is "weathered" by people touching it. Neat to see the difference! (Oh, on a side note, this place won a LEED certification. It sits on a lot of acres and most of the trees that were cut were used for construction. There are many other things that make it a LEED building but that pertained to this log that I was talking about and I can't get too far off topic!)

And this last picture you have to look far in the distance to see the "aileron" sculptures. I will leave it to you to google that word and find out what it means. These sculptures actually wave or flap when the winds are strong to imitate a bird in flight. Pretty cool!