Sunday, January 27, 2013

End of football season 2012

Despite our best cheering - both the Falcons and the Packers lost in the play offs. 

We donned our best attire for the Packers game, a Christmas present from Dan's mom.

Koda looks unhappy here - but she loved her scarf. She couldn't wait to put it on, and once she had it on, she pranced around like she was the prettiest thing. I look gooood.

As for the Falcons, it was finally time to wash my Matt Ryan jersey for the season. Hopefully a clean start will help them next year.

You know the Bud Light campaign 'it's only weird, if it doesn't work'? That commercial was made after my family. Maybe me? I'm not sure exactly who started it, but we are very superstitious. Because it is sane and logical, I'm convinced that what we do at home has an incredible impact on what happens on the field. 

If Dan wore a red shirt the last week and the Falcons won - you can bet I'm sending him back upstairs to change if he comes down on game day in a blue one.

If they were winning when Koda was sitting on the couch, and they start losing when she gets down, you can bet I'll bring her right back up.

I even went so far one day as to make my mom keep vacuuming because they were winning.  I couldn't risk them losing - so she vacuumed my entire house. Wait a minute ...  

So when nachos were always good luck at the Georgia Dome for Dad and I - we made sure to have them for each playoff game. 

We had already eaten half of them before I had the wherewithal to take a picture. 

Stop judging me. #itsonlyweirdifitdoesntwork

Monday, January 21, 2013

Pickled Jalapenos

In the beginning of the summer I bought a jalapeno plant from the Farmer's Market. It produced a lot of spicy peppers! We used them all throughout the summer, and it was nice to always have them on hand to throw into dishes.

Closer to the end of fall, we ended up with a handful left. I wasn't sure how to use them all. Trust me, they were too hot to make poppers.

(Those little slits in the skin mean they are ready to eat!)

I wanted something that would last awhile and came across this recipe: Quick Pickled Jalapeno Rings.

You chop the jalapenos into rings and put them in jars. 

Boil the liquid and pour that on top.

The jalapenos only fill the jar about half way, but they expand as they absorb the liquid. 

We waited about 3 weeks to ensure they were fully pickled. 


Now you just need some nachos!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Date Night

Please ignore how incredibly messy our coffee table looks. We use magazines and placemats as coasters. 

Steps to our favorite date night in:

Spend way too long roaming around Whole Foods. Go hungry so you want everything. Set a budget or you will be shocked by the amount you have just spent.

Come home with: fresh french bread, prosciutto, goat cheese, olive oil, black berries, kiwi, balsamic vinegar, olive medley from the olive bar, mozzarella balls, red wine, and a giant fudge brownie.

Start a fire. Cheers. Catch up on TV. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

New years in Greenville

We went to Blair and Brett's for New Years again, and it was so much fun. I wish we had a stop-time button.

The night flew by. We ate a lot. Watched the ball drop. Had a champagne toast. Played games in the garage. Ate a lot, again. Hardly slept. And never wanted to leave.

Group photo right after midnight:

We left Koda home alone. We were worried she might have a party with the neighbor dogs, but she did well. (For those worried, we had a sitter let her out late at night and one super early in the morning). I bribed the early morning sitter with a Starbucks gift card to text me that Koda was still alive. 

I want to go back. Can we celebrate all over again?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Happy New Year!

2013 huh? That looks weird. 

2012 seemed futuristic, but 2013 just doesn't look like a date to me. Maybe I secretly thought the Mayans might be right? That we would never make it to 2013?

I fired up my ole Mac desktop recently. (Desktop right? I love it. It still works. I have an issue with change. I won't get rid of it. It was cool back in the day. I'm done justifying). Well I knew this puppy was old, but really?

It was a big year for this computer. We had just landed on the moon. And had Woodstock. I can't wait to see what it thinks about the 1970s. 

This is not photoshopped. My computer has short term memory loss and is stuck in 1969. How is that year even an option?

Happy 2013! Or 1970! You pick. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Christmas Pretzels

Per my mom's request I made these this year:

Yes. They taste as good as they look. 

Pretzel rods dipped in melted caramels. 

Rolled in chopped honey roasted peanuts.

And drizzled with melted chocolate. 


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Christmas in Atlanta

Dan and I spent 5 wonderful days in Atlanta for Christmas this year. I wish my dad was home this season (and I know he does too!), but we will have a mini Christmas when he gets back.

We went overboard in terms of presents. This was the pile of presents for just three people! Myself, Dan, and my mom. Hi my name is Kelley, and I give too many gifts. Hiiiii Kelley.

Mom - you'll need to introduce yourself as well.

See the large blue present on the right? Those were Dan's new dumbells. They are adjustable anywhere from 5 to 52.5 lbs. He has been asking for these for just about every gift-giving season. At this point, I knew he was on to me. So I had to come up with a way to throw him off a little bit. 

I had them sent to my mom's house - so he wouldn't see them prior. And she came up with the idea of writing 'Merry Christmas Kelley' on the package to throw him off more. I thought they were going to be shipped separately. 

"Mom, they are over 50 pounds, are you sure you can handle that?"

"Kelley. The UPS lady is here. I have a 130 pound package!!"


Good thing mom was having a box spring delivered, and the lovely mattress guy was willing to help her. 

While opening presents, my mom gestures to the blue box, "Dan, will you bring that one here for Kelley to open?"

When he tried to lift it - his face was priceless! He was so confused. As he tried harder, the wrapping paper started ripping off. 

We had a good laugh at his expense. 

I have no transition from that story to the rest of our time in Atlanta. I'll just jump right in, then. 

I got a new camera! The Nikon D7000! ... Okay, those who know about cameras know that it isn't exactly new. It's my mom's older camera (one of a few), and I will gladly take her hand-me-downs any day. It. Is. Awesome. I am officially much worse of a photographer than the equipment I have. But I hope to improve. Slightly. It can only go up from here, right?

My mom asked me a question about my lens, so I snapped this picture to show her something. It ended up pretty Christmas-y.

The rest of the weekend included a lot of this: 

PJs, coffee, and a cuddly puppy. 

Christmas went by too fast. Despite my attempts to make present-opening take as long as physically possible, it came and went. The decorations are down. The lights are off. We have finished eating all cookies. Families are back to their day-to-day lives. And rush hour is back with a vengeance on 77. It was wonderful to spend the week with family and friends. I hope you had just as merry of a Christmas!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Christmas Lights

As I mentioned yesterday, I love Christmas lights.

It's all because of my dad and his mission of 'Griswold-ing' the house. We would drive around the neighborhood and rate houses on the amount of lights. The more the merrier. Tacky is fine. Net lights cannot look like net lights.

This my second year putting lights on our house, and I added a few more from last year. Those LED lights get expensive - or I would have them everywhere!

It's not much, but it is a start.

We are slowly adding more lights to our collection.

The walkway is my favorite. These pictures don't capture how bright it is. 

I wanted to line the entire driveway - but that would have set me back around $50. I think the walkway is just fine for this year.

Our house pales in comparison to our neighbor's.

These pictures don't do this justice. 

The entire front yard is covered in lights. The house. The roof. The trees. Animation. Speakers playing Christmas music. See-sawing elves. A sleigh. Naughty and Nice books. Snowman. Train set. Candy canes. Inflatable santa.

The man who lives here dresses as Santa, giving children candy canes. If anyone wishes to donate, he gives the money to St. Jude. 

Talk about Christmas spirit!

Maybe one day I will get there. Maybe I'll just visit his house instead. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Our Christmas Tree

I love decorating the Christmas tree. Christmas music. Coffee. It's always the first part of the holiday season. The day our house acknowledges the merriment that is Christmas. 

I could stare at the Christmas lights all night. They just make me happy.

I am also going to use that as my excuse for not taking down our tree until this past weekend. 

I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoying staring at it a few extra days past Christmas. 

A quick family Christmas photo before we left for Atlanta. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Pumpkin muffins with cinnamon cream cheese icing

This was delicious. And just as fast as I made it, I had forgotten about it -- until going through pictures. So this post will help me remember the recipe.

I don't have measurements. I'm sorry. One day, when I make it again I will try to measure what I used and the edit the post. Until then..

First, make this from the box:

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix. I make mini muffins. They are easy to share. Don't forget the bag trick if you are making mini ones. 

Then I made the icing by combining equal parts cream cheese and butter. (For perspective, a half block of cream cheese makes a generous amount of icing for these. I used the whole block and then froze the rest of the icing). 

Then I would put about a tablespoon of cinnamon, a half teaspoon of vanilla, and then powdered sugar to taste. I like really sweet icing and less of a cream cheese flavor so I used a couple of cups. Just add, taste, if you want it sweeter, add some more. 

These were SO good.

To summarize:

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing
4oz cream cheese
4oz butter
1 T cinnamon
1/2 t vanilla
a couple cups of powdered sugar

Fall bucket list cross off:
  • Buy a box of Trader Joe's pumpkin muffin mix. Make the muffins. Top with cream cheese icing. Call it breakfast, not dessert.
Breakfast. Yum.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Fall bucket list fail

Confession: I never completed my fall bucket list. 

Bigger confession: I don't care.

The bucket list was fun to have whenever we had a 'what should we do this weekend' moment. And we did most stuff on it. And then Christmas came around, and decorating, buying gifts, making Christmas cookies, etc. all became so much more fun than the fall bucket list. 

And you know, January and February kinda suck. It's cold. Football is fun if your team is in the playoffs (Go Falcons! And Packers!) but that is over the first weekend in February. 

And then you are left with cold. 

And the rest of your fall bucket list? Perfect. 

We still need to do the following:
  • Make homemade pumpkin sage gnocchi. Share the recipe. 
  • Have a backyard bonfire with smores.
  • Go hiking.
  • Make and wear the sweater book socks that I pinned.
  • Find a recipe for and attempt homemade apple cider. Spike it if feeling crazy.
I'm scratching the pumpkin carving. How did we not have a pumpkin this year? I don't know. We went to the place twice, both times without cash. I'm not perfect. This is real life. We had candy for our trick or treaters. That's all that matters right? 

So look for more posts on the "fall" bucket list. Now with air quotes. Because it's way past fall. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Spaghetti Squash

Prior to Christmas, Dan has had some light work days. At times I wondered if he was still employed. I leave for work, he is in a bathrobe. I get home from work, he is in workout clothes. He says he is still getting paid. 

I guess it's nice for him to have for a few weeks as he just started the beginning of 4 months of non-stop work. Busy season. 

Anyway, I had a long day at work and it was getting pretty late so I called him to get dinner started. We were having spaghetti squash.

He has had spaghetti squash before. He has made spaghetti squash before. He asks for it almost once a week because he really likes it. I know it might seem like an odd vegetable for some people, but it's not for Dan.

So I call him: "Hey, can you cut the spaghetti squash in half, put it on a pan and put it in the oven at 375?" Dan: "Sure."

I get back on the phone with my mom, when Dan calls back. Thats odd - its not super complicated, I wonder what he wants.

Dan: "Hey. Which one is the spaghetti squash?"

This was our vegetable drawer:

We have a cucumber. Bok choy - which is odd - but it's definitely not a squash. And the spaghetti squash. That Dan has made. And we eat often.

It made me laugh out loud. 

I can't complain - because he made me dinner that night! But I had to rag on him some, because it was pretty funny.

I'm back

After Christmas in Atlanta, three wonderful days at home cleaning and catching up on TV shows, a day of work, New Years in Greenville, and a crazy rest of the work week, I am back. 

I have a handful of blogs to post. I want to catch up with the rest of 2012 and have committed to doing so this weekend. (Although I might spread the posts out during the next week). 

This is what the office looks like:

Koda's sheep is helping me sort through hundreds of pictures. Let's begin.