Monday, July 26, 2010

Music Mondays - Dixie Love

I forgot about this song until it popped up on an old mix last week. It's a good song to belt out in the car. :)

*** removed video because it wouldn't stop turning on by itself! Look up Dixie Chicks "Not ready to make nice" online to view!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

How I spent my summer vacation pt2

Upon my return from California, I had one day free to relax, 1 day back at work, and then I picked up my friend Mary from the Airport! Woohoo!!!! :) Here are the highlights from her visit:

Day 1: Mary came in to work with me. We spent the afternoon hanging out with Allie, then spent the evening in Harvard Square.
I can't find photos... so just believe it was awesome! ;)

Day 2: Ula Cafe, Sam Adams (attaining the illusive step 4 glass, huzzah!), BPL, Copley, the Public Garden, dinner and exploring in the North End. It was a full day, our feet hurt, but our hearts and tummies were happy!

Day 3: Mary and I spent the day in South Boston. We started with a visit to the ICA. I normally only find contemporary art museums to be so-so, but I LOVE the ICA. Plus, the exhibits by Roni Horn were pretty darn fabulous. We then took in a delicious lunch at the Legal Test Kitchen. My watermelon/arugula salad and clam chowder hit the spot. I want more now. mmm.
After lunch we took a tour of the Harpoon Brewery. Harpoon beer is delicious, and the tasting session at the brewery is like none I have ever experienced. 10 beers on tap, all you can drinks. Aaaaaaaamazing. Mary and I had picked up a variety of pastries at Mike's the night before and left them in the jeep for the right moment. We ended our day outside the ICA (where we parked), eating pastries on the deck overlooking the water. Just as we were finishing, I noticed a pretty incredible cloud creeping around the building, then realized it was getting dark. Moments later, everyone on the deck started screaming and running towards us. Everything went dark, the cloud swirled around us, and the whole group of strangers crowded together atop the the highest step on the desk. Once we realized we were not going to die, sitting out the storm was pretty enjoyable. :) I later found out the storm ripped trees in half all throughout the city. Thank God we were in the location we were when it started, our original plan would have put us a mile away from our car with no shelter. ha!

I had so much fun Mary, thank you for coming!!!!!! I hope to see you again soon. :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Got Cojones?

You see I know change
I see change
I embody change
All we do is change
Yeah, I know change

We are born to change
We sometimes regard it as a metaphor
That reflects the way things ought to be

In fact change takes time
It exceeds all expectations
It requires both now and then
See although the players change
The song remains the same
And the truth is
You gotta have the balls to change
-Vinnie Jones

Monday, July 19, 2010

Music Mondays- sexy cover ;)

For today's song I must promote this cover of George Michael's I Want your Sex, performed by the incredibly talented Chris Mann.

I met Chris in Cinque Terre when backpacking Western Europe with Huffy, Kelly O'Dell, Belinda V, and a few other wonderful ladies. We will always fondly remember singing on water noodles with Chris and Franc D'Ambrosio, and joining them with our Fabulous Sherpa Byron as we detoured over to Lucca.

Sigh. I miss Italian adventures.

Pass the video around if you like it (and you should), and look him up on iTunes. :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Soup, soup-a-doop, soup-a-doop, sooup-a-doop-a-doop-a-doop!

So I am once again indulging in my homemade soup obsession. I could eat soup nearly everyday and be completely satisfied. I love soup. Love love love the soup. I am not picky, I love soups of all shapes, sizes, ingredients, quantities (though often the more the better, nom). As we are in the middle of a New England summer, many would say that I need to wait until fall to return to my soup cooking tendencies, but to them I say "Open your eyes! Use your imagination!". Or I can tell them to purchase this fabulous new book that I tracked down recently. I decided it was time to get serious and stop looking at Real SImple recipes whenever I actually remembered to, so I searched the cookbook stacks until I found teh perfect book for my needs:

Holy Cannoli! Or maybe I should say Holy Minestrone! This book has such a wide variety of soupy deliciousness for my belly. I like to make a point to cook something new on Sundays, so this book catered to that idea as well. I'm such a sucker for marketing. However, this really has been worth the money. The book is split into seasons,both to fit the weather and the seasonal vegetables. I love being able to head to the local produce store and pick up large tasty veggie or fruit for a healthy and scrumptious meal. The book recommends breads and sides that compliment the soup. Basically it is heaven in a book.

Something I really love about soups is that they are simple, but they can be very impressive. People become so stuck in their chicken noodle/miso/tomato/french onion, that adding a few simple ingredients can suddenly make the meal seem more grand and creative... but it's still so easy! Maybe I shouldn't have admitted that. Oops.

So far I have tried two of the recipes from the Summer section. Today was the Summer Squash Minestrone with Pistou. Lighter than it's winter counterpart, this soup features zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, and a handful of pasta. I made a homemade provencal pesto that was stirred into the soup. We ate this with toasted sourdough bread. Mmmmmmm. My first attempt was Chilled Cauliflower Soup with Bacon & fresh Dill. This soup was perfect for the warm summer days we have been (um) blessed with lately. The bacon is added in at the end so this recipe is vegetarian friendly. We paired this with a crusty wheat loaf and a salad of arugula, tomato, avocado, and homemade vinegarette. James has already said that he is sad there are so many, because they are so delicious but he knows there is not enough opportunities to repeat them. I then challenged him to remember his favorites and surprise me with them after work during the week. :) Maybe I forgot to mention... in exchange for spending money on this book, I have to commit to making them on my own every week. However, he does the dishes, so I got the better end of the deal. Booya!

Ok. I have yabbered on enough. I encourage any soup lovers out there to buy this book ASAP!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

¡Viva España!

My random thoughts during the World Cup Finals:
- Tad had the funniest reason to support Spain
-I feel that somehow my Toro de Osborne tank top somehow helped the team today, despite the fact that some turd bucket snagged it from me years ago and I couldn't wear it to the pub today
-Both Goalies are kicking some serious rumpus and should be proud
-I can't look at Carles Puyol without expecting him to pull out a guitar and start playing a Queen song
-I think James should play soccer. Yum.
-Hey, that guy kinda looks like James. Yum
-The dutch look like inmates
-Really people? I don't look that pathetic when I take a fall, and I'm a wuss...
-Then again, I don't get stomped on by cleats
-What is it with the major hits to the chest in world cup finals? youch.
-Why did I drink this much beer in the afternoon, I want to nap now
-Geeeeeet it in... geeeeet it in
-I could never run this much.
-If James ends up sterile (and I hope that is not the case), perhaps Iker Casillas Fernandez Jr will be our future son. I'm sure he wouldn't mind helping a couple in need
-People who say this is not a real sport are immediately placed on my "stupid as poop" list
-I want Spain's coach to be my grandpa
-What is written on his undershirt?
-The Oracle Octopus was right!!!

How I spent my summer vacation pt1

So summers are not the same as an adult, but I have still managed to cram in a few fun days here and there. I am RIDICULOUSLY behind, but I need to start somewhere. Here is a taste of my trip to CA in May:

I took a working vacation and headed back to California. Our trip was anything but relaxing, however, I had a great time. Upon landing we met Steph for lunch, and I then headed over to Huntington Beach for a quick baby shoot. Sadly I did not have enough time for a full shoot, but I got a few decent shots of the cutie.

From there, I stopped off at the YMCA to see my old kids. They have gotten WAY TO BIG, and they of course quizzed me on their names the moment walked in (insert opening music to Under Pressure here). James and I FINALLY got on the road and headed to Vista to see Chelsea, Dieter, and new baby Annabelle. wee! After making a quick stop at the Rainbow Outlet (my first time, my first pair, I was giddy), we arrived at the Gratz's adorable home and spent the evening catching up and (gently) bouncing baby annabelle. :)

After a much needed night of deep sleep (apparently Anabelle cried a lot, I had no clue), we said our good byes and headed back to HB to meet up with our carpool buddies, Stephanie and Stephen. We shared a very enjoyable ride up complete with In-N-Out. Oh how I have missed in-n-out. There was a happy reunion of many old friends at Brandon's wedding rehearsal. I got to scope out many great sites for portraits the next day. James took time to play with the fish eye lens that he is obsessed with (and was highly disappointed I wouldn't let him use it for shooting the wedding. sigh. oh james). We then spent the evening with my sister Beth and brother-in-law Michael, and enjoyed El Cid chips & salsa. mmmm. real mexican food.

Saturday was ... well... a wedding! Busy, beautiful, stressful, intimate, crowded, joyful, and everything in between. I was SO impressed by all of the details of this wedding, and few things bring me more joy than watching a dear friend commit to the person they love. Plus, I had a wonderful reunion with many loved ones. Mark, you need to get married soon so we all have a chance to travel together and hang out again soon. But no pressure or anything ;)

Sunday I woke up in Bakersfield, had breakfast with the in laws, then headed downtown to have a much needed visit to Spectre ;). Jen, GMar, Huffy, and I met up at Alisa's new home and enjoyed a sleepover filled with yummy food, tshirt making, marathoning shows, and great conversation. We somehow only managed to take one photo the nearly 24 hours we were together (which baffles me), but I have a few good memories that will stick with me no matter what. :)

Last but not least, James and I stayed our final evening in Orange County. We had dinner with the Coopers and met Oscar the wonderpooch, and spent an evening relaxing with Kelly and Sophy a my old home in Orange, playing Mexican Train.

Needless to say I was EXHAUSTED when I arrived home and wished for a vacation from my vacation! However, all in all, the trip was fabulous and I am so happy it all came together.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Music Mondays- return of an old musical "friend"

I have been listening to Sarah McLachlan since I was old enough to make a conscious decision of what should play in my cassette player. ;) My sister and I "discovered" her as fumbling towards ecstasy was about to explode on the radio. We stumbled upon her playing a free concert in Central Park and fell in love with her music. I know there was a time when she became a bit overplayed. She also fell to the curse of Canadian women having a beautiful song attached to a cheesy romantic drama. Also, she has proven in interviews to be short a few bricks. :) However, through it all, I have continued to love and appreciate her talent. I also enjoy that James LOVES her. So I just purchased Laws of Illusion recently for our anniversary. Here is my favorite track so far:

Friday, July 2, 2010

I love my friends

"There comes a time in life when you walk away from all the pointless drama and people who create it, and surround yourself with people who make you laugh so hard that you forget the bad and focus on the good. Life is too short to be anything but happy."

Here's to focusing on the good! :)