Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Already I've had fun passing out candy to many trick or treaters tonight. This is actually my first time passing out candy as an adult because I've always lived in an apartment and never had trick or treaters. I have some homemade soup on the stove and Joe and are going to settle in tonight watching Hitchcock's North by Northwest. I hope everyone has a fun and frightful night. And to all my friends with kids - I want to see photos of all the cuties in their costumes.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


With just five days until this very historic election, everyone is talking politics. I went to hear Mary Matalin and James Carville speak tonight. They were highly entertaining...much more so than I'd anticipated. It was so interesting to hear their take on the election, past politics and how they survive each other. Now, the countdown is on for next week.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Risotto that rocks

I've always loved risotto but have never made it until tonight. Sometime during dinner Joe said, "Your risotto rocks." Why thank you very much. Below is the recipe.

Sweet Potato Risotto

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
salt and black pepper
2 small sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/4 inch peices
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup grated Parmeasan (2 ounces)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.

Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until absorbed.

Measure 3 1/2 cups of water. Add 3/4 cup at a time and cook, stirring occasionally and waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding the next. It should take 25 to 30 minutes for all the water to be absorbed.

Stir in the parmesan and oregano.

For more variations go here.


I have been waiting patiently for my latest rejection letter for the job I interviewed for last week. According to their timeline, I was sure I would have heard by now if I got the job. I logged onto their website to check my application status and there it was, "selected other candidate." I had some doubts about the position after my second interview (and I was sick that day so not feeling my perkiest although I tried hard to fake it) but I still wanted to be wanted. I still want to get out of the house. I still want social interaction and a paycheck. And I want to stay in my chosen career path. I'm wondering when these things will happen for me. I am trying so hard to be patient but it's really hard right now. I've had two job interviews here for positions in my field and both have led to second interviews only for them to choose someone else when it got down to the final two candidates. And two interviews out of the dozens I've applied for doesn't exactly make for good stats either.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Kick off my Sunday shoes

Footloose is going to be remade and Zac Efron is going to play Ren. I'm not sure how I feel about this. My first thought is why should you mess with perfection? I can't imagine liking anything as much as the original. Did I mention it's going to be a musical? Complete with new songs? It's true that I could end up jumping on the bandwagon at some point in time but right now I only want to think about Kevin Bacon playing Ren and that cute, perky Sarah Jessica Parker as Rusty. What do you think? Read more here.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: calzones
Tuesday: sweet potato risotto
Wednesday: salmon and salad
Thursday: chicken and mushroom soup
Friday: leftovers

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dinner with Dorian

Joe and I went downtown tonight to have dinner with my friend, Dorian who is in town for a conference. Dorian was one of the very first people I met when I moved to Columbia more than eight years ago. Dorian relocated a few years ago but we have remained close friends. It was so good to see her! I only wish we could have spent more time together. And, might I add, it was awfully cold tonight. I broke out my new down coat. Winter is right around the corner.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Best. Concert. Ever.

I had so much fun at the concert last night. Like the good husband he is, Joe woke up when I got home and let me babble on and on about it. I remember being giddy and I think he asked me how much I'd had to drink which was completely irrelevant because I was just high on New Kids. (In fact, I think this might have been Alex's same reaction to Nichole and me a few years ago after seeing Jordan.) Right before bed I remember telling Joe he was old only I don't remember what the context was but it went something like this, "You're old...but not as old as Donnie Wahlberg!!" Sigh. I heart the New Kids. Below are just a few of my thoughts about the show.

  • Long live synchronized dancing.
  • 2+hours of some of the best video, choreography, special effects and pyrotechnics I have ever seen at a show.
  • The guys have a great wardrobe and had several changes.
  • Alison very intuitively noticed that when they sang old songs they used "old" hand-held mikes and when they sang new songs they used headsets.
  • The foot stomping, hand waving, dancing like you just don't care of about 20,000 screaming women during Hanging Tough was unbelievable.
  • All of the guys are cuter than ever.
  • Girls were still wearing homemade tshirts. My favorite read, "Too late Donnie, I'm married now."
  • Danny did some amazing breakdancing. Amazing.
  • The guys did some solo stuff. Jordan did a solo, Baby I Believe in You. (Check out the video below. Not from the same concert but this is what I saw in person.) Jordan also sang from his solo days, Give it to You and Joe did, Stay the Same. During Joe's song he did some eloquent dancing with one of the female dancers that totally rivaled anything I've seen Jennifer Gray and Patrick Swayze do.
  • At one point the guys left the stage to be on a small circle in the middle of the floor. We had a great view and it was so cool.
  • A lot of girls were there dressed like it was still the 80s/90s which was fun and we saw everything from brand-new NKOTB shirts to shirts from 20 years ago.
  • They were actually selling dinner plate-sized buttons at their merch tables!
  • Before the concert, you could text a message to the guys to appear on the jumbotron. At the last concert I went to people didn't even have cell phones!
  • I always thought Joe and Jordan were the two most popular ones but I saw more Donnie paraphernalia than anyone else. Hands down, it was all about Donnie last night.
  • Donnie de-pantsed himself on stage last night.
  • Their new music is great! Really.
  • Instead of Tiffany opening the show, we got Natasha Bedingfield. (She has a half-mullet.) And although she has several very popular songs, I was surprised that most of the 30 year olds new the theme song from The Hills the best.
  • They did a really beautiful video playing tribute to the people in their lives who had passed away in the 15 years since they'd retired. Many were celebrities or other musicians. When they got to their own parents, I almost lost it.
  • I had almost forgotten about No More Games but Donnie can still rap. :-)
  • And probably the biggest difference from the show I went to 17 years ago is that a good majority of the fans there were drinking.

And for the moment you've all been waiting for:

Friday, October 24, 2008

Seventeen years in the making

April 5, 1991 - My parents picked Amber and me up for school early. We were headed to Columbia. We were headed to see New Kids on the Block. I remember debating whether or not I would wear one of my many New Kids t-shirts to the show or was I too cool to wear one of their shirts (oh the irony). In the end, I can't remember what I decided. Amber and I were giddy. We got to the show and I think I had to squint to see them. I had written a poem for Donnie. It was probably the cheesiest thing I've ever penned but I was determined to give it to him. With letter in hand the show started. Amber cried. After the show, we resisted filing out of the Hearnes Center - we were determined to meet the band. (Yes, I was a groupie even back then.) Finally some bodyguards insisted we leave so I left them with my letter to Donnie. Before we left, we took confetti from the stage and found my parents who thought we were lost forever. (I think the confetti must surely still exist somewhere in my old bedroom.) It wasn't too long after that the love began to fade. Amber and I tried to stay true to the end but eventually the band broke up and broke our hearts. In 2004, Nichole and I caught a solo Jordan but "Cover Girl" just isn't "Cover Girl" without Donnie. Tonight I'll be reunited with the band. I've spent more than half my lifetime waiting...Seventeen years, six months and nineteen days later - I'm going to see New Kids on the Block again! Tonight Alison and I are going to the show. I can't wait. Can't. Wait. Much more details tomorrow.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Thursday Meme

Jen from Crazy-Yet? tagged me. All the answers are just one word:
1. Where is your cell phone? desk
2. Where is your significant other? work
3. Your hair color? red
4. Your mother? saint
5. Your father? determined
6. Your favorite thing? free-time
7. Your dream last night? computer
8. Your dream/goal? travel
9. The room you’re in? office
10. Your hobby? writing
11. Your fear? sausage
12. Where do you want to be in six years? happy
13. Where were you last night? home
14. What you’re not? fake
15. One of your wish list items? movie
16. Where you grew up? Missouri
17. The last thing you did? bake
18. What are you wearing? t-shirt
19. Your T.V.? mediocre
20. Your pet? Crumley
21. Your computer? laptop
22. Your mood? content
23. Missing someone? friends
24. Your car? Mazda
25. Something you’re not wearing? earrings
26. Favorite store? Target
27. Your Summer? eventful
28. Love someone? yes
29. Your favorite color? brown
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? week

I am tagging: Nichole at Esmon dot net, Sandi at Wayfaring Stranger, Rachel at Rach's and Alison at Musing of an Accident-Prone Chicagoan...and anyone else who wants to participate.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My family

I'm a cat person. I love cats. And about every other day I ask Joe if we can get a kitty. Joe likes cats, too, but it would be awfully difficult for us to have one (or two) of them with our two dogs so even though I keep asking I know it's not going to happen any time soon. I have always been a little scared of dogs but that's probably because growing up, we always had cats. When I met Joe, I knew that if I loved him, I'd have to love his dogs, too. So after we got married, I became the mom to two dogs - a Labradoodle named Crumley and a Mountain Cur named Iris. I wish I could tell you that Iris and I are the best of friends but the truth is we both get on each other's nerves a bit. I'm trying but some days are better than others. Most of the time, Crumley is my very good friend and keeps me company all day long. He's definitely the cutest dog I've ever met.

Joe and Crumley taking a break.


The great pumpkin

Tonight Joe and I carved a pumpkin. It was a first for us to do together. (This was after I ate pumpkin ice cream at Cold Stone - I love this season!) Below are some photos of our very sinister-looking pumpkin. Joe's pictures turned out better than mine but here's my attempt.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: leftovers
Tuesday: ravioli with peas
Wednesday: tilapia with lentils
Thursday: short ribs and veggies
Friday: pizza

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A beautiful day

Joe and I thought we'd enjoy the cool, crisp weather and the beautiful leaves at the Morton Arboretum today. We loved it and can't wait to go back again. We took a guided tour, enjoyed carmel apples (yum!) and especially enjoyed the seasonal display of scarecrows.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Happy Fall

It's officially cool here and I need to break out my winter clothes. I am dreading my first Chicago winter. I hear it's not pleasant and because I've visited in the winter before, I know it's not pleasant. I went downtown last night without a jacket and thoroughly regreted it. But I do love the fall. It's definitely my favorite season and I hope this weekend Joe and I can enjoy the fall leaves and maybe carve a pumpin. I'm also making chili tonight and I think we're going to see W. We also started watching Arrested Development this week on dvd and I love it! It's one of the smartest, most hysterical tv shows I've ever seen. Cheers to a cozy weekend - happy fall!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A day in the life

Today has been very busy. First of all, I woke up sometime in the middle of the night unable to swallow because my throat was so sore and then I just felt achy all over. And I lost my voice. I went to the doctor and they thought it was sinus-related and sent me home with a list of over-the-counter products to buy. So I went home and rested for awhile before I headed downtown to meet my former bosses who were in town. We went to an awards ceremony for a campaign I had worked on (so nice of them to invite me!) and then looked around for awhile at the Art Institute. Also, I didn't mention it in my blog last week but I did have a job interview. And they called back today so I have a second one next week. I'm really hoping (and praying) this one pans out!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: cheesy baked shells and broccoli
Tuesday: roasted red pepper meatloaf and salad
Wednesday: glazed cod with asparagus
Thursday: polenta with blue cheese and chard
Friday: southwestern chili
Check out recipes at Real Simple.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Adyson's first birthday

Friday, October 10, 2008

Much ado about nothing (or tv)

Now that Joe and I are married and we both blog, we often write about the same things just different perspectives. It seems funny to me to read his blog and think, "Hey, I was going to write about that." Obviously, I still can and will.

We watched the premier of Life on Mars last night. This is our first attempt to find a television show that we both like and want to watch together. I can't say that we currently like any of the same shows. In fact, I don't think I'm watching anything these days. I seem to watch HBO and Showtime shows on dvd but I'm even out of those at the moment. I used to be really into Grey's Anatomy but I find it just too predictable and boring these days. And my fascination long wore off with Lost, too, but I imagine I'll still continue to muddle through for fear that I've watched this long and still don't understand what's going on. All in all, I really liked Life on Mars and I think this will become a regular for us. I also think we're going to Netflix "30 Rock." Gotta love Tina Fey. Are you watching any must see tv? Anything I'm missing out on?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

She's got my fake vote

Did you guys watch the debates last night? Here's a little something you may have already seen but it makes me laugh every time I watch it. "...biggest depression since The Notebook." Hilarious.

See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die

Monday, October 06, 2008

Wedding fun

Early Thursday morning I headed towards a Kansas City suburb with a stopover in Columbia. I was armed with a suitcase, bridesmaid's dress, a lunch that Joe packed and the new Ben Folds - it was Kim's wedding weekend!

As you can probably tell from the photos, we had a blast and it turned out to be a fun girlfriends' reunion along with the celebration of Kim's marriage. I think I fell in love with the little flower girl, Kim's niece. She was full of spunk and surprised us on the dance floor with all her moves. She was the life of the party! I tried to keep up with her but I am still sore today. Note to self, I am not a kid.

I am also trying to resume a "normal" diet after eating junk and all my favorites for several days straight...yes, I let the good times roll and Kim's buffet was a cheese-lover's delight!

Congratulations Kim and Chris!

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: three-bean chili

Tuesday: crispy chicken and salad

Wednesday: creamy pesto gnocchi with green beans

Thursday: curried rice with shrimp

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The birthday girl

I will be on the road tomorrow so I won't have blog access but I didn't want the day to pass without mentioning that tomorrow Miss Adyson will turn one! Can you believe it's been an entire year? Next weekend, I'll hit the road again for her big birthday bash. It's guaranteed to be a star-studded event. Until then, happy birthday Big Girl!

Adyson then

Adyson now

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